Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles that can then be used to get discounted or even free flights to your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and some information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles 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 save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all comes down to 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 of travel hacking? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer many features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect to use for hacking 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 limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some nice travel! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to virtually every airline. You can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t 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 flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points short, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines which allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for 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 a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It might be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they can reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration repaying them using your credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already planning to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can earn miles or points to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the required amount for your credit card bonus as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those expenses.
Use your credit card for all your daily costs
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by using your credit card for everyday costs. This can include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may offer better return than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This will give you access to a wider variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, find out the card’s benefits. some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be 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 share the costs on the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of it in the most efficient way possible. Through an array of methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.