Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which you can use to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little creativity and some insider information, you’ll travel for free 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. The miles can be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to review your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide various advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards excellent to use for hacking travel:
- 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 get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to look up the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful that if you do not have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few point short United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach 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 huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It may be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they will pay you back.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about making payments on them with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel and accrue points or miles to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you achieve the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spend to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards to pay for everyday expenditures. This could be items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This gives you access to a greater variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, find out whether your credit card has some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.