Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution 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 get discounted or even free flights to your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to check your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best price. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with various features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few 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 card, you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make certain to verify the details. Then, it’s all about racking miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to use them towards delicious travel! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve worked with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can use a combination of money and points to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the total cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for the same flight. If you’re only a couple of points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it 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 for your rent with a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they can repay you.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider repaying them using your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they know why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using your credit card. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel and earn miles or points to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the required amount to earn your credit card, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for the costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum spend and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay daily expenditures. This could include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a credit card, consider transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using points to book a ticket directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or reward program for hotels. This gives the benefit of a greater variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should discover if your credit card offers 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.
When you travel with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve listed that you can get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.