Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which can be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can 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 incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to check those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide a variety of benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are great to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify this information. Then it’s all about building up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice vacation! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are a few examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can use a combination of points and cash to book your next trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for the same flight. 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 a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you 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.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it 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 using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they will repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration paying them off with your credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and look into any major expenses in the near future 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 you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already thinking of.
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 flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum spend to earn your credit card reward and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenditures.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by utilising your credit cards for every day costs. This could be items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could offer better return than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives the benefit of a wider variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, determine the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a companion, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards separately.
The key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using it in the most effective method. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.