Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the most value. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer a variety of features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some nice vacation! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your travel. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the balance for it! 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 your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for one flight. No worries though, if you’re a few points away, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It might be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they will reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about repaying them using your credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Just make sure you trust the person and they know why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to make the most of using your credit or debit card for travel and accumulate miles or points that you can spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card reward, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover those expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by utilising your credit cards to pay everyday costs. This can include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, such as dining or travel. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion 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 flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This will give you access to a greater range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that may not be available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most efficient way possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.