Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles that can then be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can 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 and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to check your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best price. All it boils down to is the number of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards excellent 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 have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to look up the details. From there you can begin to rack miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet getaway! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to virtually every airline. You can make use of a combination of money and points to book your travel. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the total cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points on the same flight. If you’re a few point short United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they can reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about making payments on them with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and look into any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts using your credit card. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you planning to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel and accrue points or miles to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only achieve the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card bonus, but you’ll also earn points or miles on the expenses.
Use your credit card for everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by using your credit card to pay for everyday costs. This can include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a wider range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a friend, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most effective method. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.