Are you tired 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 convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which can be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight consider the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to review those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with many features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. From there it’s all about building miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to use them towards sweet vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to virtually every airline. You can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. 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 entire cost, you are able to purchase flights through the 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 flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points short, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It may be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they can reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about paying them off with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are many ways to make the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you achieve the required amount for your credit card, but you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum spend to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards to pay everyday costs. This can include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points 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 routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This can give an access greater variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should discover whether your credit card has certain benefits that will reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most effective way possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.