Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Well, 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 miles which can be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost 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 then be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to review your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the most value. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If 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. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to check for the details. Then you can begin to rack miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to use them towards delicious getaway! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can combine the points as well as cash in order 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 be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance 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 can choose the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few point short United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they can reimburse you.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans, consider repaying them using your credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and look into any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to 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 reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to get the most from your travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of you 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 qualify for a credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by using your credit card to pay daily expenditures. This could be things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, including dining or travel. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might offer better return than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or reward program for hotels. This gives the benefit of a greater range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that aren’t accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with someone else and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re using it in the most effective way possible. By using all of the strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.