Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which can be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for 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 with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price 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 your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best price. It all comes down to the number of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer a variety of features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are great to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. From there it’s all about building miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards nice vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can combine points and cash to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful, if you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points on flights. If you’re only a couple of points short, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover 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 reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider repaying them using an credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all 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 paying more than you thinking of.
There are many ways to make the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accrue points or miles to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you achieve the required amount for your credit card as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to meet the minimum spend to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards for daily expenses. This can include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Be 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 certain types of purchases, like dining or travel. 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.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a reward program for hotels. This gives the benefit of a greater range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that may not be available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to find out whether your credit card has any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a friend and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to 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 the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most effective method. Through a combination of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.