Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which can be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some information, you’ll 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 and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight consider the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to check the frequent flyer account to see which airline can give you the best price. It all comes down to the number of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are great to use for hacking travel:
- 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 minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to use them towards delicious vacation! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve worked with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can use a combination of money and points to book your travel. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on one flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of point short United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future Ask your family members to pay for theirs and they’ll pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration repaying them using the credit card you have. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most out of the travel credit card and earn miles or points to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only achieve the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spend to earn rewards is making use of your credit card to pay daily expenses. This could be things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off 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 certain types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has 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 spend for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could give you a better return than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This gives an access wider range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that aren’t offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should discover whether your credit card has any perks that can save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a companion each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most effective method possible. Through an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.