Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which you can use to score discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the most value. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with a variety of features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to check for the details. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the ones I have experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to virtually every airline. You can use a combination of money and points to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of point short United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can 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 I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they can reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about repaying them using the credit card you have. Be sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to look into any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already thinking of.
There are many ways to make the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accrue points or miles to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only achieve the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards for every day expenditures. This can include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example, using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a hotel rewards program. This will give you access to a greater selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should determine whether your credit card has any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.