Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles that can then be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to check the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all comes down to the number of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer many 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 a few credit card options that can be great 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 need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to look up the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some delicious getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have an Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get 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 have enough points to cover the entire cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for the same flight. If you’re just a few point short United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they will pay you back.
Repay the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration paying them off with an credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts using your credit card. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accrue points or miles to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you be able to hit the required amount for your credit card and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on these expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card to pay daily costs. This can include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For instance using your points to book a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will let you have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives you access to a wider range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should determine the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using this program in the most efficient way possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.