Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles that can then be used to get discounted or even free flights to your dream destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to check those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started 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 plenty of great credit cards that provide a variety of advantages 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 some credit cards that are perfect to hack 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 reach the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to look up the details. Then it’s all about building up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the ones I have experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the total price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for one flight. If you’re a few points away, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars but not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. 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 like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there 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 credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about making payments on them with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already planning to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most out of your travel credit card. earn miles or points to spend on 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
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the required amount for your credit card reward and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards to pay for daily costs. This can include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, including dining or travel. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance using points to book a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you have a wider range of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This gives the benefit of a larger selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. any perks that can save you money on travel-related expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method possible. By using all of the methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.