Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? 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 obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number 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. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to review those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best price. It all boils down to the number of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide a variety of features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be excellent 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 limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to look up the details. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the providers I have experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, 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 book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
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 dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for flights. If you’re just a few point short United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and are 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 with a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up, ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about paying them off with your credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and look into any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already planning to.
There are many methods to get the most from your travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the required amount to earn your credit card as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spend in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card for daily costs. This can include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may offer better return than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This will give an access wider range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.