Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little creativity and some insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards let you 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 sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to review the frequent flyer account to see which airline can give you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that offer a variety of advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect for travel hacking:
- 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 limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. From there it’s all about building up miles, and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can use a combination of money and points to book your travel. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the total cost, you still can purchase flights through 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 flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? But, be careful in case you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure 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 offers a distinct feature that allows you to pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3%. It may be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up then ask your family members to pay for theirs and they’ll pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about repaying them using your credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to look into any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they understand why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can hit that minimum spend and be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are many methods to get the most from your travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on those expenditures.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card for daily expenses. 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 accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example using points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This can give an access larger selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, discover whether your credit card has some perks that could help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method. By using an array of methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.