Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles that can then be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to review those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer many advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be 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 or debit card, you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to look up this information. 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 amount, it’s time to use them towards delicious vacation! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to virtually every airline. You can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t 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 the credit card of your choice.
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 cannot combine points and dollars on one flight. If you’re just a few points short, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to 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 buddy Becca, you’re probably 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. 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 big one! If you’re able to pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up, ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they will pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration repaying them using an credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t end up with 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. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using your credit card. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to make the most out of your travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to meet the required amount for your credit card, but you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is making use of your credit card for daily costs. This can include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, like dining or travel. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This gives the benefit of a wider selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be available through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should discover whether your credit card has any perks that can help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re using it in the most effective method. Through all of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.