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 problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which you can use to get discounted or even free flights to your ideal destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
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 discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to look into those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points in your travel account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with a variety of benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are 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 or debit card, you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. From there it’s all about building up miles, and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to use them towards sweet vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve worked with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire 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 full price for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points on one flight. If you’re just a few points short, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried 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 using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they will reimburse you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration repaying them using the credit card you have. Be sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already planning to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most from your travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on these expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by using your credit card for daily costs. 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 bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a greater selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out whether your credit card has certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with someone else and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.