Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which you can use to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to review those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the most value. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles 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 that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with a variety of benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential 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
If you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to look up the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can make use of a combination of money and points to book your next trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the total price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points on flights. No worries though, if you’re a few points short, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important 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 could be worthwhile in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up, ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they will reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about repaying them using your credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they understand why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you planning to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. accrue points or miles to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spend in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards to pay daily expenses. This can include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, like dining or travel. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example, using points to book a ticket directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This can give you access to a larger variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, find out whether your credit card has some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with someone else and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most efficient method. By using all of the methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.