Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best deal. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with a variety of features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be perfect to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to check for this information. From there you can begin to rack up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious travel! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from a few of the providers I have experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the total cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars on flights. If you’re only a couple of points away, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your family members to pay for theirs and they will reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration repaying them using an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already planning to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most of your travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those costs.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending and earn points is using your credit card to pay for daily costs. This can include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, including dining or travel. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a ticket directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or hotel rewards program. This can give the benefit of a greater range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that aren’t available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine if your credit card offers some perks that could reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using it in the most efficient way possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.