Afar Travel Magazine

Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which can be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll 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. The miles can be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.

How Does it Work?

The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to review your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. It all boils down to the number of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.

Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking

Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide various advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most essential to you.

Top Credit Card Picks

Here are some credit cards that are perfect for travel hacking:

  • 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 spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to look up the details. Then it’s all about building up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!

Are you ready to set sail with your goals?

Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some nice getaway! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from a few of the providers I have experience with:

Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards

If you have a Chase credit card, then you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.

 

United

Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? 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 can’t combine points and dollars on the same flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.

JetBlue

Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.

Reach that Minimum Spend

If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.

Pay your rent (if you can)

This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3%. It may be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.

Pay a medical bill

Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your family members to pay for theirs and they will repay you.

Repay the loan

If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider paying them off with your credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.

Ask family for help

Ask your family members to look into any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re taking the initiative.

Purchase presents

If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts using your credit card. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already planning to.

There are a lot of ways to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel and accrue points or miles to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards

Make travel reservations using your credit card

When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of you travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to hit the required amount for your credit card bonus, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover those expenses.

Use your credit card to pay for your everyday costs

Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards to pay for everyday expenses. This can include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.

Benefit from bonus categories

A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.

Take into consideration a balance transfer

If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your 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

If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use points to book a ticket directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.

Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This will give you access to a larger variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.

Also, find out the card’s benefits. any perks that can save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.

When you travel with a friend and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.

The key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.