Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which you can use to score discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to look into your frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the most value. All it boils down to is the number of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with many features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are great to hack travel
- 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 receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to check for this information. From there it’s all about building up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet getaway! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can combine money and points to pay for your trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the entire price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few point short United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before 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 quite frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through 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 for your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they’ll repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration repaying them using your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using your credit card. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you thinking of.
There are a lot of methods to get the most out of your travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only achieve the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenses.
Use your credit card for everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card to pay daily expenditures. This could be things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, including dining or travel. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance onto 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 assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance, using points to book a ticket directly through the airline may offer better value than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or hotel rewards program. This can give the benefit of a greater selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should find out if your credit card offers any perks that can help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on 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 making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most effective method. Through all of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.