Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
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 buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to check your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with a variety of features and benefits. 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 perfect to hack 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 reach the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to check for the details. Then it’s all about building miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some nice vacation! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points away, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet 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 our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they will reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about making payments on them with an credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to look into any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you contemplating to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most from the travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on those expenditures.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenses
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards to pay daily costs. This can include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This can give an access larger selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, discover if your credit card offers certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure you 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 make sure you’re using this program in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.