Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. 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 cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little 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. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to look into those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best price. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards with various benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards great 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 spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make certain to verify this information. From there it’s all about building up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have an Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to virtually every airline, and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your next trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few point short United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they’ll repay you.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration paying them off with your credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to look into any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they understand why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are many ways to get the most of the travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum spend for your credit card bonus, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these expenditures.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card for everyday costs. This can include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may offer better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives the benefit of a wider variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. some perks that could reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re using this program in the most effective method possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.