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 turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which you can use to score discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to review your frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide a variety of benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are important 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
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 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 points?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards nice vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve worked with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can combine money and points to book your trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the entire price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for flights. No worries though, if you’re a few points away, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? 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 which allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. But don’t fret 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 for your rent using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It may be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they can pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration paying them off with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and look into any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already planning 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 ways to maximize your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by using your credit card to pay every day costs. This could be things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also 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 miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to book a ticket directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give you access to a greater range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that aren’t accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should determine if your credit card offers certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card and make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re using this program in the most efficient method. Through an array of methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.