Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to look into the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards with many advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be excellent 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 get the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. From there it’s all about building up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to use them towards delicious getaway! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can combine points and cash to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the total cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on flights. No worries though, if you’re a few points short, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It might be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your family members to pay for theirs and they will pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider making payments on them with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts using cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid paying more than you thinking of.
There are many ways to make the most from your travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum spend to earn your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card to pay daily expenditures. This can include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards 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 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 credit card, consider transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using points to book a ticket directly with the airline might offer better value than using them for the purchase of 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 allow you to have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This will give an access greater range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using this program in the most efficient way possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.