Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which can be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to check those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer many features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be great 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 minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. From there it’s all about building miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to use them towards sweet travel! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline. You can combine points and cash to book your travel. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the full cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful, if you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for one flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few points short, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due then ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they will pay you back.
Repay the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about repaying them using the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and look into any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing 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. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are many ways to make the most of your travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to meet the required amount to earn your credit card reward and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenses.
Use your credit card for everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is by using your credit card to pay daily expenses. This could be things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing 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 transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. This can give you access to a larger variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, find out if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most effective method. By using all of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.