Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to look into those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best price. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide a variety of features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards 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 hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to look up the details. Then it’s all about building up miles, and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some nice travel! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine points and dollars on one flight. If you’re just a few points away, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they will repay you.
Repay the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration making payments on them with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already contemplating to.
There are many ways to make the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. accrue points or miles to be used 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 trip, use your travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by using your credit card to pay for daily costs. This could include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them to purchase the purchase of 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 options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give an access greater selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine whether your credit card has some perks that could save you money on travel-related 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 earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most effective method possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed that you can get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.