Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a little creativity and some insider information, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to review your frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards with a variety of advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards great 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 minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be certain to verify the details. From there it’s all about building miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some nice getaway! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the total price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any 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 dollars or points? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine points and dollars for one flight. If you’re a few points short, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to 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 pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they can pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about repaying them using your credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts using your credit card. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you planning to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can 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
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of the travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for these costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spend and earn points is utilising your credit cards to pay for everyday expenses. This could be things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, like dining or travel. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, think about transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could give you a better return than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This can give you access to a wider variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover whether your credit card has certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
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 effective method. By using all of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.