Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some information, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to review your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide a variety of features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be great to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make certain to verify the details. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet vacation! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve worked with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to virtually every airline, and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the full price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? But, be careful in case you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few point short United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they can reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider repaying them using the credit card you have. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and look into any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you trust the person and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already thinking of.
There are plenty of methods to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel and accrue points or miles to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card bonus and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the costs.
Use your credit card for everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spend and earn points is by utilising your credit cards to pay everyday costs. This can include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, such as dining or travel. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example using points to book a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This will give an access greater range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should discover the card’s benefits. any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card and make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most effective way possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.