Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which can be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to review those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer a variety of benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect 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 have to meet the limit of spending minimum 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 book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards sweet vacation! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can combine money and points to book your trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you do not have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars on the same flight. If you’re only a couple of points away, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature where you can combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. 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 buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried 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 big one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they can repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration repaying them using the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts with your credit card. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are many ways to make the most out of the travel credit card and accrue points or miles to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the required amount to earn your credit card as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles for the costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spend and earn points is making use of your credit card for everyday costs. This could include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using points to book a ticket directly through the airline may offer better value than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This will give you access to a greater range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, find out the card’s benefits. some perks that could reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card and make sure to track your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most efficient way possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.