Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which can be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to check the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards with many advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect for travel hacking:
- 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 minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to look up the details. Then you can begin to rack miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the ones I have experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can make use of a combination of money and points to book your travel. You can even book entirely on points if you have enough balance! 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 flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on one flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of point short United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn 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 a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they will repay you.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration making payments on them with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they know why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were planning to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most of your travel credit card. earn miles or points to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for the costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by using your credit card for daily costs. This could include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching 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 wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to book a flight directly with the airline could offer better return than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This gives you access to a wider variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine if your credit card offers any perks that can save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to track your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most efficient way possible. By using an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.