Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which can be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better 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 find out which airline will give you the most value. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is to open a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide many advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are perfect to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to look up this information. From there it’s all about building miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards sweet getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve worked with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then 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 use a combination of money and points to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full 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 flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points for the same flight. If you’re only a couple of point short United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay 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 due, ask your family members to pay for theirs and they’ll reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration making payments on them with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any big expenses coming up 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 this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most of the travel credit card and earn miles or points to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus, but you’ll also earn points or miles for the costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by making use of your credit card to pay daily expenses. This can include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, like dining or travel. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of 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 debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using points to book a ticket directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a larger selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, determine the card’s benefits. some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards separately.
The key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using it in the most effective way possible. Through an array of methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.