Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles that can then be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little bit of 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 incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in 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 take a look at the price. If the price is under $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 higher than $500, it’s best to look into the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with various features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most essential 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 reach the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to check for this information. Then, it’s all about racking miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some nice travel! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can use a combination of points and cash to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the total cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re a few point short United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you pool your points together 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 into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. Don’t worry, 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 a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due then ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider paying them off with your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to look into any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you planning to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most out of your travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only achieve the required amount to qualify for a credit card, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by using your credit card to pay for daily expenses. This could be items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, such as dining or travel. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to you want to redeem 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 gives the benefit of a larger range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that aren’t available through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should find out whether your credit card has any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a companion and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
The key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.