Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which you can use to score discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to review your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide various advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are great for travel hacking:
- 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 reach the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to check for this information. From there, it’s all about racking miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline. You can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the entire price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make 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 companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they can repay you.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about paying them off with your credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to look into any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they know 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 hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most out of your travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum spend to earn your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover those expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by utilising your credit cards to pay for daily expenses. This could be things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might give you a better return than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This gives you access to a greater range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, determine if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a companion, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most effective method possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.