Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider 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 purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful 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 flight is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to look into your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer a variety of advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are great for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be certain to verify this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points on one flight. If you’re just a few points away, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they can repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration making payments on them with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to look into any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts using your credit card. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already planning to.
There are many methods to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel and earn miles or points to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of 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 minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for those expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card for everyday costs. This could include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example, using points to book a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you have a wider range of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This can give an access wider selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re using it in the most efficient method. By using an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.