Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles that can then be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little creativity and some insider information, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to look into the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer a variety of advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are great to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make certain to verify the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some delicious travel! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to virtually every airline, and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for the same flight. If you’re a few points away, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they will pay you back.
Repay the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about repaying them using the credit card you have. Be sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate additional 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. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you planning to.
There are many ways to get the most from the travel credit card and earn miles or points to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to hit the required amount for your credit card and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spend to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card for everyday costs. 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
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 routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on 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, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance using your points to book a flight directly through the airline may offer better return than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or reward program for hotels. This can give the benefit of a greater selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine if your credit card offers some perks that could help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using it in the most efficient method possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed 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.