Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which can be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide various features and benefits. 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 to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make certain to verify this information. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, it’s time to use them towards nice travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve worked with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can combine points and cash to pay for your trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the total cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points away, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and are 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! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It may be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they’ll pay you back.
Repay the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider paying them off with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any big expenses coming up which you could 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, consider buying all your gifts using your credit card. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most out of the travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover those costs.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spend and earn points is utilising your credit cards to pay everyday costs. This could include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a 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 debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example, using points to book a ticket directly with the airline could offer better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This can give an access larger variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should discover the card’s benefits. some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a companion, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve outlined that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.