Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting 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 dream destinations. With a little imagination and some know-how, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car 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 on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to look into those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide various benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards perfect to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. From there you can begin to rack miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can use a combination of money and points to book your next trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for flights. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of point short United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing 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 quickly. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re 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 your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they’ll repay you.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about making payments on them with an credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts using your credit card. This way you can hit that minimum spend and be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to get the most of the travel credit card. accrue points or miles to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenditures.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spend and earn points is by making use of your credit card to pay for every day expenditures. This could be things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example, using points to book a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This can give the benefit of a wider range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that may not be offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should discover the card’s benefits. some perks that could reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a friend each of you will be able to get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most effective method possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.