Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which can be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little creativity and some insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to look into those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer various advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are 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 reach the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make certain to verify this information. Then it’s all about building up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some nice travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the companies I have experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can make use of a combination of money and points to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the total cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on flights. No worries though, if you’re just a few point short United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they will repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about repaying them using the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you thinking of.
There are many ways to make the most out of the travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only achieve the required amount to qualify for a credit card, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending and earn points is using your credit card to pay for every day expenses. This could be things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, like dining or travel. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use your points to book a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give the benefit of a larger range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that aren’t available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. any perks that can save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re using it in the most effective method possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.