Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and some information, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to look into those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with a variety of features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be perfect 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 card you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify the details. Then it’s all about building miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to use them towards sweet vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can use a combination of money and points to pay for your trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine points and dollars on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points short, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Hit 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 reach the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they can pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about making payments on them with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and look into any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were planning to.
There are many ways to get the most from the travel credit card. accrue points or miles to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only achieve the minimum spend for your credit card reward as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on these costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement and earn points is using your credit card for everyday costs. This could be things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give the benefit of a greater selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to discover the card’s benefits. some perks that could reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with someone else and both of you earn rewards using 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 the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most effective way possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.