Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little creativity and some insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to review your frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with various advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some nice vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for one flight. If you’re just a few point short United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes 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 but not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they’ll pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about making payments on them with an credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts using your credit card. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most from the travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you achieve the minimum spend for your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenditures.
Use your credit card for everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement and earn points is using your credit card to pay for everyday expenses. This could be items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, such as dining or travel. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a ticket directly with the airline could offer better return than using them for 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 allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This can give an access wider selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should determine if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most effective way possible. Through all of the methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.