Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles that can then be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take 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 consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to check the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the best price. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer many advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards great to hack 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 reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. From there it’s all about building up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice vacation! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful in case you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few point short United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It may be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future Ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they can reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration paying them off with your credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were thinking of.
There are plenty of methods to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. accrue points or miles to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card bonus, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenses.
Use your credit card for everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by using your credit card for every day expenditures. This can include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, like dining or travel. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might 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 your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a reward program for hotels. This gives the benefit of a wider range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that may not be accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to determine the card’s benefits. some perks that could help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card and make sure to track your rewards separately.
The key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using it in the most efficient method possible. Through a combination of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.