Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which you can use to score discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll fly for no cost 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. The miles can be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to look into those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best price. All it boils down to is the number of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards with a variety of features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own 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 set sail with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some nice vacation! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the providers I have experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have an Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can use a combination of money and points to book your travel. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the entire cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? But, be careful in case you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on the same flight. If you’re only a couple of points away, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they can repay you.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration repaying them using your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with your credit card. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are many ways to make the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. accumulate miles or points that you can spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card for everyday expenditures. This can include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, including dining or travel. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about 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 the balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use points to book a ticket directly with the airline might provide you with a greater return than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This will give you access to a larger selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, find out whether your credit card has any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card. Also, 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 this program in the most efficient method possible. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.