Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles that can then be used to score discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards with a variety of features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be 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 or debit card, you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be certain to verify this information. From there it’s all about building up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can combine points and cash to book your travel. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the entire cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? But, be careful, if you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on the same flight. No worries though, if you’re a few points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they will reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about repaying them using your credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
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 know why you’re taking the initiative.
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 be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to make the most from using your credit or debit card for travel and accrue points or miles to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is by using your credit card for everyday costs. This can include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial 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 value of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a flight directly with the airline could offer better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give you access to a wider variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should discover if your credit card offers any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using this program in the most effective method possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.