Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles that can then be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little 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 later be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car 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 establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to look into those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide various features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are 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
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet travel! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for flights. If you’re only a couple of points away, 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 similar to United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty 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. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they will repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about paying them off with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and look into any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement 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 make the most out of the travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use you travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the required amount to earn your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles for those costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is making use of your credit card for daily expenditures. This could include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could give you a better return than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a reward program for hotels. This gives you access to a wider variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most efficient method. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.