Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to score discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a little 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 exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to review those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points in your travel account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open 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, spending habits and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are excellent to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to check for the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can combine money and points to book your next trip. You can even book completely 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 cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for one flight. If you’re just a few point short United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical 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 some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end if the bonus is high 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 coming up Ask your family members to pay for theirs and they’ll reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about making payments on them with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using your credit card. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already planning to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most out of your travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the required amount for your credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the costs.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by utilising your credit cards to pay for daily costs. This can include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving 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 points or miles Make sure to utilize them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example, using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This gives the benefit of a wider range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should find out whether your credit card has certain benefits that will 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 are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card and make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using it in the most effective way possible. By using an array of methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.