Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which you can use to score discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight consider the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the most value. All it boils down to is the number of miles or points in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards with many features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be 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 card you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to check for this information. Then you can begin to rack miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to use them towards delicious vacation! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can use a combination of money and points to book your travel. You can even book completely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost 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? Be careful, if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on the same flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of point short United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they will pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about paying them off with your credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accrue points or miles to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum spend for your credit card reward, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on the expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is using your credit card to pay daily expenditures. This can include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for certain 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 match with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or hotel rewards program. This can give the benefit of a larger range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that aren’t offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, find out the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re using this program in the most effective way possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.