Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to review those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer many advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. Then, it’s all about racking miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, it’s time to use them towards delicious getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to virtually every airline, and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can even book completely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not 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 cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on flights. No worries though, if you’re a few points short, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
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! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they will reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider repaying them using your credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family 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. Just make sure you trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already planning to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most from your travel credit card and earn miles or points to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll 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 costs.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by utilising your credit cards to pay every day expenditures. This can include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to 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 allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could offer better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This will give an access wider selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, find out whether your credit card has certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of it in the most efficient method. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.