Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which you can use to get discounted or even cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can travel for free within a matter of minutes.
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 purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is under $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 look into your frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best price. All it boils down to is the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer a variety of features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are 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
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your travel. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful, if you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few point short United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack 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 economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for 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 using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they will pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider paying them off with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accrue points or miles to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement and earn points is using your credit card for every day expenses. This could include things like food, gas or even your phone 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 points in exchange for certain types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example you can use points to book a ticket directly with the airline could offer better return than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This will give the benefit of a greater selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should discover whether your credit card has certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a companion 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 be sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of it in the most efficient way possible. Through an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.