Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline 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 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 discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking 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 look into those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to check for the details. From there, it’s all about racking miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice travel! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve worked with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline. You can use a combination of money and points 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 have enough points to cover the full cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points for the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of point short United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. 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 and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry as we’ve done 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 a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It might be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they will repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans, consider making payments on them with your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you trust the person and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were planning to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most out of your travel credit card and earn miles or points to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on those expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by making use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses. This could be things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match 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, think about transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could offer better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives the benefit of a greater selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t available through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.