Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which can be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to look into those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best price. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer various advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect 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 limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to look up the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to plan your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total 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 flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful in case you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there 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 your rent with credit card, go for it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they can pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans, consider repaying them using an credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already planning to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. You can earn miles or points to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum spend to earn your credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by using your credit card to pay for every day expenses. This could be items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, such as 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.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use 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 your points to book a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This will give you access to a greater variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective way possible. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.