Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some information, you’ll travel for free in no time.
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 pay for discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful 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 it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to review those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide a variety of benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify the details. From there it’s all about building miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards nice vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to virtually every airline, and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on one flight. If you’re a few points short, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they will pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about repaying them using the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already planning to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most from your travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll achieve the required amount to earn your credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on these expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum spend to earn rewards is making use of your credit card to pay every day expenses. This could include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, like dining or travel. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may give you a better return than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This can give an access greater variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should determine whether your credit card has some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re using this program in the most effective method possible. By using an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.