Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to score discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a little creativity and some insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to look into your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all comes down to the number of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards with a variety of benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards 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 have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be certain to verify the details. From there it’s all about building miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to use them towards delicious travel! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from a few of the companies I have experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can use a combination of money and points to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the full cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars on the same flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret because we’ve been there 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 to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It might be worth it in the end 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 an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they will repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider paying them off with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most of the travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the required amount to qualify for a credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenses.
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 every day expenses. This could be things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using your points to book a flight directly with the airline could 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 reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives an access larger selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a friend and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most effective way possible. Utilizing all of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.