Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles that can then be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to look into the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the best price. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover 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 offer many features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make certain to verify this information. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to nearly 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 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 buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful, if you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for flights. If you’re only a couple of point short United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and we’re 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 a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they’ll pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration paying them off with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you thinking of.
There are plenty of methods to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. accrue points or miles to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use you travel credit card for booking 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, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for the costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card to pay for every day expenses. This could include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could give you a better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This can give you access to a larger selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should discover whether your credit card has any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could 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. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re using it in the most effective method possible. Through a combination of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.