Are you fed up 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 turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which you can use to get discounted or even cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little creativity and some insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight consider the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s generally better to pay 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 the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. From there it’s all about building miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to use them towards delicious travel! 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:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can combine points and cash to pay for your trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the balance 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 in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you do not have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for one flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you 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 into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It may be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration repaying them using an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to look into any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to make the most of the travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you achieve the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover those costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spend to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards for every day expenditures. This could be items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use points to book a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This can give an access larger selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a companion and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most effective way possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.