Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which you can use to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and 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 building out frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to check your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best deal. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with a variety of features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be great for travel hacking:
- 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 qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to look up this information. From there it’s all about building miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve worked with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you are able to buy flights with 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 know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on the same flight. If you’re a few points short, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines which allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they will reimburse you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about repaying them using an credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were thinking of.
There are many ways to make the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can earn miles or points to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending and earn points is using your credit card to pay for every day costs. This could be things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off 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 specific types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example using points to book a ticket directly with the airline could 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 will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a reward program for hotels. This can give you access to a larger range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that aren’t offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, find out the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most efficient way possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve outlined that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.