Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which can be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little imagination and some know-how, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to check your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer many advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards perfect 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 need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make certain to verify this information. Then you can begin to rack miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to use them towards delicious travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points. 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 own an Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can combine money and points to book your travel. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of 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, then do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It might be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your family members to pay for theirs and they can reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration paying them off with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to look into any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were planning to.
There are many methods to get the most of your travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you achieve the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card bonus, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenses.
Use your credit card for all your daily costs
Another way to meet the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card for daily expenses. This can include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For instance, using points to book a ticket directly with the airline could offer better return than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This can give an access larger variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out the card’s benefits. some perks that could reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most effective method. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.