Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which can be used to get discounted or even free flights to your desired destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
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 buy discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to review your frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best price. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that provide a variety of benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards 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 limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. Then, it’s all about racking miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to use them towards delicious travel! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can combine money and points to book your next trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of point short United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you 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 like United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, go for it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It may be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high 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 coming up, ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration paying them off with an credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute 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 taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using cards from your credit account. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you planning to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. accrue points or miles to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you achieve the minimum spend to earn your credit card bonus and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on those costs.
Use your credit card for everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by using your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures. This can include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, including dining or travel. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example, using your points to book a ticket directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This can give the benefit of a larger selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.