Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which can be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also 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 credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to look into your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best price. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards with various benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards excellent to use for hacking 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 qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be certain to verify this information. Then it’s all about building up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice vacation! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can even book entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for flights. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of point short United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are 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 for your rent using credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they will repay you.
Repay the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration paying them off with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they know 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 meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already planning to.
There are many ways to get the most out of your travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to pay for 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 bonus, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement and earn points is utilising your credit cards to pay everyday costs. This can include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or hotel rewards program. This can give an access larger range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that may not be available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, find out the card’s benefits. any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of it in the most efficient method possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve listed that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.