Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles that can then be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight consider the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to review those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with a variety of advantages and features. 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 a few credit cards great to hack 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 hit the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make certain to verify the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards sweet vacation! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are a few examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the full cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful that if you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature where you can pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and are 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 for your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration making payments on them with an credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to look into any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of the travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum spend to earn your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spend and earn points is using your credit card for daily expenditures. This could include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, including dining or travel. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could offer better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give the benefit of a wider range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, find out if your credit card offers certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a friend, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure to track 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 your credit card in the most efficient method possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.