Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles that can then be used to score discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a bit of creativity and some 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 pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to review the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the best price. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide many features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be great 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 need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be certain to verify the details. From there, it’s all about racking miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for one flight. No worries though, if you’re 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 provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. 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 required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they can reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider paying them off with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts using your credit card. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already thinking of.
There are many ways to make the most from using your credit or debit card for travel and accrue points or miles to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card bonus, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those expenses.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by using your credit card for every day expenses. This can include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, like dining or travel. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card 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’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example you can use points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or reward program for hotels. This will give you access to a greater range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that aren’t available through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re using it in the most effective method possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.