Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which you can use to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, 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 rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s usually better 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 check your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number 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? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with a variety of benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most important 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
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice vacation! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire 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 flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for flights. No worries though, if you’re just a few points short, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It may be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future Ask your family members to pay for theirs and they’ll reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans, consider paying them off with your credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any large expenses coming up 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 doing it.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using the credit card you have. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you planning to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most from the travel credit card. earn miles or points to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel 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 earn points or miles on those expenditures.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spend and earn points is by making use of your credit card to pay for every day expenditures. This could be items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example, using your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may give you a better return than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This gives the benefit of a greater variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, discover whether your credit card has certain benefits that will help you save money on travel 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.
Finally, when 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 divide the cost with the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using this program in the most effective way possible. Through an array of strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.