Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which you can use to score discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little imagination and some know-how, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to review those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best price. 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 to hacking travel? The first step is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer various features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards perfect to hack travel
- 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 get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards nice travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to virtually every airline. You can combine money and points to book your travel. You can even book completely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for the same flight. If you’re a few points away, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they’ll pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration repaying them using the credit card you have. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you trust the person and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using the credit card you have. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already planning to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most out of your travel credit card and accrue points or miles to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards for daily costs. This could include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, think about 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 the debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and 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 benefits of different redemption options. For example using points to book a ticket directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. This gives an access larger range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that may not be available through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should discover whether your credit card has certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most effective way possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.