Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which you can use to score discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to look into your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide many features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card, you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some delicious travel! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on one flight. No worries though, if you’re a few points short, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines which allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they will repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about repaying them using an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to make the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. accrue points or miles to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card reward, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenses.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards to pay daily costs. This could be items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, including 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.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use your points to book a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This gives an access wider range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of it in the most efficient method. By using a combination of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.