Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which can be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to check your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles in your travel 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 a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer various advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are essential 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
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to look up the details. From there, it’s all about racking up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to use them towards sweet getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the providers I have experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll have access to virtually every airline and 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 using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the total cost, you still can purchase flights through the 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 can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of point short United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they’ll pay you back.
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 additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re 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 meet the minimum spending limit and be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to hit the required amount to earn your credit card bonus and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenses.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards to pay for every day costs. This could be things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, including dining or travel. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to 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 enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example using points to book a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This gives an access wider range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover if your credit card offers some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own 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 the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most effective way possible. By using all of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.