Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful 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 it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to review your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best price. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer various features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards great to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to look up this information. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve worked with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can make use of a combination of money and points to book your travel. 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 entire cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you fed up 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, if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars for one flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few points short, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they’ll reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider making payments on them with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you planning to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most from the travel credit card and accrue points or miles to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you achieve the minimum spend for your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles on the costs.
Use your credit card for everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards to pay every day expenditures. This could include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, consider transferring the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This gives an access wider selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to find out the card’s benefits. 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 extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card and make sure to track your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method possible. By using all of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.