Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which you can use to score discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to review your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that provide many advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved 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 guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. From there you can begin to rack miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to use them towards delicious travel! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to virtually every airline. You can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the total cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for flights. No worries though, if you’re just a few points short, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to pool your points together with your relatives to earn 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 like me or my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re 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 using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term 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 the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your family members to pay for theirs and they can pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans, consider repaying them using your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already thinking of.
There are plenty of methods to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. accumulate miles or points that you can use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you achieve the required amount for your credit card reward and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for these costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spend in order to accumulate points using your credit card to pay for every day costs. This could be things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most 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 make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may 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 reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a hotel rewards program. This will give an access wider range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine whether your credit card has 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.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most effective method possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.