Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
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 then be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight 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 to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to review the frequent flyer account to see which airline can give you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer various features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be great for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be certain to verify this information. From there it’s all about building miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some nice travel! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful in case you do not have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars on the same flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make sure to 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 buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It might be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they can pay you back.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about making payments on them with an credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future which you could 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 doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can hit that minimum spend and be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum spend to earn your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover the expenses.
Use your credit card for everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spend and earn points is by using your credit card for daily costs. This could include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example, using your points to book a flight directly with the airline might offer better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This will give the benefit of a wider range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that may not be offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to discover if your credit card offers some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using it in the most efficient way possible. Through a combination of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.