Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which can be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and some information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to review those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide many advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect 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 have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to check for this information. From there it’s all about building miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order 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 don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine points and dollars on flights. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it 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 your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually about 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up, ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they will pay you back.
Repay the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about making payments on them with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue 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 contribute for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are many ways to make the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a 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 hit the required amount for your credit card as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles for those costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spend in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards to pay for daily expenditures. This could be things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This gives you access to a wider selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should discover the card’s benefits. some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using it in the most effective way possible. By using an array of methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.