Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to score discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to review those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer various benefits 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 hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. From there you can begin to rack up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can use a combination of money and points to book your travel. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the full cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you 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 cannot combine dollars and points on the same flight. If you’re just a few points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It might be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they will pay you back.
Repay the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about repaying them using your credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they understand why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you planning to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most out of the travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles for the expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by using your credit card for everyday expenditures. This can include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn 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 the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use 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 rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This gives you access to a greater variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, discover if your credit card offers certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most effective way possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.