Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s a fun 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 creativity and some insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the flight 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 above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the most value. It all boils down to the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards with various benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be great to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. From there it’s all about building up miles, and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice travel! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! 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 flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars on one flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few points short, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion 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 the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually about 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration paying them off with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel and earn miles or points to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum spend for your credit card reward, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for those costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card to pay daily expenditures. This could be items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, including dining or travel. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could offer better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This gives an access wider range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards separately.
The key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most effective method possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.