Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which you can use to get discounted or even cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a 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 about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight consider the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to look into the frequent flyer account to see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount 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? First step opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards with various advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are great to hack travel
- 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 minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice travel! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using 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? Be careful, 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 point short United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. 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 buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually about 3%. It may be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they will repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about paying them off with your credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all of your gifts with your credit card. This way you can hit that minimum spend and be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you planning to.
There are many ways to make the most from the travel credit card and earn miles or points to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card reward, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by utilising your credit cards to pay for everyday costs. This could include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could offer better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives an access greater range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, find out the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to track your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using it in the most efficient method. Through all of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.