Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which you can use to obtain discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to check those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points in your travel account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer a variety of features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards perfect to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. From there it’s all about building miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some nice vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve worked with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase card, 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 the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the entire cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for one flight. No worries though, if you’re a few points away, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you 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 anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and we’re 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 with a credit card, do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It might be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high 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 coming up, ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they will repay you.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about making payments on them with an credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also 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. You can earn miles or points to 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 hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover those costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is using your credit card for everyday expenses. This can include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using your points to book a ticket directly through the airline may offer better value than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. 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 rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This will give you access to a wider variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, find out the card’s benefits. any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using this program in the most effective method possible. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.