Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which can be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some 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 rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to review your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the most value. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with a variety of advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards excellent to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make certain to verify this information. Then it’s all about building up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to use them towards delicious vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can combine money and points to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the total price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on the same flight. If you’re just a few points away, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more 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 dollar or points but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite 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 because we’ve been there and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It may be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future Ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they’ll repay you.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about making payments on them with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you thinking of.
There are many ways to get the most out of the travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the required amount for your credit card, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on the expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is using your credit card to pay everyday expenses. This could be 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.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you 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 prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using your points to book a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This gives the benefit of a larger variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient way possible. By using all of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.