Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which can be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use 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 the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to review those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the most value. It all comes down to the number of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide a variety of features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, 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
If you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet getaway! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are a few examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can make use of a combination of money and points to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the full cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars for one flight. No worries though, if you’re a few point short United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important 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 around 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your family members to pay for theirs and they will reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the 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 off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any large 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 doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accrue points or miles to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use you travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only achieve the minimum spend to earn your credit card bonus, but you’ll also earn points or miles on the expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spend to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards to pay for every day expenditures. This can include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage 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, you might want to transfer that balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give you access to a wider range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that aren’t offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should determine whether your credit card has some perks that could help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most effective way possible. Through an array of strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.