Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which can be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best deal. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards with various benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most important 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
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card, you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. Then it’s all about building up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some sweet getaway! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can combine money and points to book your next trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay 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 tired of paying full price for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points for flights. If you’re only a couple of points short, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and we’re 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 percent. It could be worthwhile in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they will reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration repaying them using the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid paying more than you planning to.
There are many ways to get the most out of the travel credit card. earn miles or points to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the required amount to earn your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on these costs.
Use your credit card for everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points using your credit card to pay for every day costs. This could include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example, using points to book a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This can give the benefit of a wider range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks which are not available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to determine whether your credit card has some perks that could help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using this program in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing a combination of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.