Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which you can use to score discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll 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 and rewards for 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 rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to look into the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points in your travel account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer various advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be perfect to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make certain to verify the details. From there, it’s all about racking miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to use them towards sweet vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can use a combination of money and points to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the entire cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points on flights. No worries though, if you’re a few points away, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It might be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they will repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about repaying them using your credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you contemplating to.
There are many methods to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. accrue points or miles to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover the expenses.
Use your credit card for everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards for everyday expenses. This could include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize 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 provide you with a greater value than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a larger selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover whether your credit card has any perks that can reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a friend and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most effective method possible. By using a combination of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.