Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which you can use to score discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to look into the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the most value. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with many advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards great 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 need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to virtually 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 with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars for the same flight. If you’re a few points short, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they will pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider making payments on them with your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with your credit card. This way you can hit that minimum spend and be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending 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 accrue points or miles to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only achieve the required amount for your credit card, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on the expenditures.
Use your credit card for all your daily costs
Another way to hit the minimum spend to earn rewards is by using your credit card to pay daily expenditures. This can include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using points to book a ticket directly with the airline might offer better return than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This gives the benefit of a wider variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, determine if your credit card offers certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most effective method possible. Through a combination of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.