Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which you can use to score discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little imagination and some knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to look into your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer a variety of benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to check for the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to use them towards sweet vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can make use of a combination of money and points to book your next trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points away, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes 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. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend 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 repay you.
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. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already thinking of.
There are many methods to get the most out of the travel credit card and earn miles or points to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card bonus, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card for everyday expenses. This could be items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a credit card, consider transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles 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 instance, using points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give the benefit of a greater selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to find out whether your credit card has some perks that could help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.