Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which can be used to score discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to review your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the most value. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of 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 a variety of advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be 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 or debit card, you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. From there it’s all about building miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some nice vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to virtually every airline and you can combine money and points to book your trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for 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 full price for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on one flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few point short United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and are 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 your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they can repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration paying them off with your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to make the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. accumulate miles or points that you can use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum spend to earn your credit card and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for the expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by utilising your credit cards for everyday expenditures. This could be things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. 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 bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might give you a better return than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This gives an access greater range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that aren’t accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to determine if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most efficient method. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.