Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which can be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for 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 make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to check the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the most value. All it boils down to is the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide various features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards great to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make certain to verify the details. Then it’s all about building up miles, and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards nice vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to virtually every airline, and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the total price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points away, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can 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 companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they’ll repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider repaying them using the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most out of your travel credit card. earn miles or points to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only achieve the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenses.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spend to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards to pay for every day expenses. This can include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, including dining or travel. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example using points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a hotel rewards program. This gives the benefit of a greater range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should determine if your credit card offers some perks that could help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with someone else each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.