Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which can be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to review your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best price. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer many 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 excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to look up this information. From there it’s all about building up 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 cash them in for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you not 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 cannot combine dollars and points on the same flight. If you’re a few point short United provides the possibility of purchasing 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 more legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It might be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider paying them off with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and look into any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to make the most of your travel credit card and earn miles or points to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the required amount to earn your credit card as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement and earn points is using your credit card to pay every day costs. This could be things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives the benefit of a larger selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine whether your credit card has any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards with 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 in a separate manner.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.