Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which you can use to get discounted or even free flights to your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with a variety of benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect 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 or debit card, you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make certain to verify this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase credit card, then you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can combine points and cash to pay for your travel. You can even book entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying using either points or dollars? Butbe aware in case you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points short, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. 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 an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It might be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans, consider paying them off with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts using your credit card. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you planning to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel and accrue points or miles to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the costs.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card to pay everyday expenses. This could be things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, including dining or travel. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example using points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a reward program for hotels. This can give the benefit of a greater selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t available 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. Some 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 friend and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to 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 on your credit card and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most efficient way possible. By using all of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.