Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? 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 complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to review your frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with various advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are excellent to use for hacking travel:
- 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 qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. Then it’s all about building up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet getaway! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve worked with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can use a combination of points and cash to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. 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 or my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret 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 to pay for your rent with credit card, go for it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they’ll pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider repaying them using an credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to get the most from your travel credit card. accrue points or miles to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover those costs.
Use your credit card for everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards to pay for every day costs. This can include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line 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 the balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use points to book a flight directly with the airline could offer better return than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This gives you access to a greater selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should discover the card’s benefits. any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a friend, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card, and be sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re using it in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.