Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles that can then be used to score discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to check those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all comes down to the number of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are excellent to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make certain to verify this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars on the same flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll pay you back.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about repaying them using the credit card you have. Make sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to look into any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you trust the person and they understand why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are many ways to get the most of your travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the required amount for your credit card reward, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on these costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay for daily expenditures. This could be items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and avail 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, you might want to transfer that balance onto the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This gives an access larger variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not available through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a friend and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using it in the most effective way possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.