Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to score discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight consider the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to look into those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all boils down to the number of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide many features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be perfect to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to look up 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?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice travel! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can use a combination of money and points to pay for your trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points on flights. No worries though, if you’re just a few points away, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they’ll reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider repaying them using the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were planning to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accumulate miles or points that you can spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the required amount for your credit card and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for the expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spend and earn points is utilising your credit cards to pay every day expenditures. This could include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, like dining or travel. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a flight directly with the airline could offer better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This gives you access to a larger selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, find out the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most effective way possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.