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 turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and some information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to review those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best price. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer a variety of benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards excellent to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to look up the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious vacation! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful, if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on flights. If you’re a few point short United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your family members to pay for theirs and they will repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about making payments on them with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with your credit card. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were thinking of.
There are many ways to make the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accumulate miles or points that you can spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum spend to earn your credit card as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenses.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spend to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards for everyday costs. This could include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make 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 eating out or travelling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give the benefit of a larger variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, find out the card’s benefits. some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re making use of it in the most effective method. By using all of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.