Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles that can then be used to score discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to look into the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer various benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards perfect 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 reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to check for this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
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 travel! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can combine money and points to pay for your travel. You can even book completely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the full cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up 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 of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points on the same flight. No worries though, if you’re a few 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 a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to 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 buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. Don’t worry, 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 pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they can pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans, consider making payments on them with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to see if they have any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also 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 from your travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. Not only will you achieve the required amount to earn your credit card reward, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover the costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses. This could be items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example using your points to book a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This gives you access to a greater range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that aren’t accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should determine if your credit card offers any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of it in the most efficient way possible. By using an array of methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.