Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, 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 miles which you can use to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to check the frequent flyer account to see which airline can give you the most value. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer various features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are great to hack travel
- 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 receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make certain to verify this information. From there you can begin to rack miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for flights. If you’re a few points short, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It may be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due then ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they can reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about paying them off with your credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts using cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accrue points or miles to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum spend to earn your credit card, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card to pay for daily expenditures. This could be items like groceries, 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 points in exchange for certain types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could offer better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This will give the benefit of a larger selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, determine the card’s benefits. some perks that could reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a friend and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method. Through all of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.