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 way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles that can then be used to get discounted or even free flights to your dream destinations. With a little creativity and some insider information, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to review those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best price. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards with a variety of benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be great to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card, you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify the details. 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 balance, you’re ready to use them towards nice vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the total price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
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 using dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars for the same flight. If you’re only a couple of points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and we’re 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 credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up, ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they can reimburse you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about making payments on them with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you planning to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can earn miles or points to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you be able to hit the required amount for your credit card reward, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover the expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by making use of your credit card to pay daily expenditures. This could include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for certain types 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 align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. 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 bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on 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 provide you with a greater return than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a hotel rewards program. This will give you access to a wider selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel 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 and make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, 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 it in the most efficient way possible. By using a combination of the methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.