Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and some information, 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 as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to look into the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the most value. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide many features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some 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 need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to look up this information. From there you can begin to rack miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can use a combination of money and points to book your next trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in 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 using either points or dollars? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for one flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few points short, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than 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 that of United Airlines which allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried 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 with credit card, go for it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It may be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future Ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they can pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about making payments on them with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and look into any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you trust the person and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already planning to.
There are many ways to make the most of your travel credit card. accrue points or miles to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum spend for your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover the expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another method to reach the minimum spend to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards to pay for daily expenditures. This can include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example, using 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 rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a larger variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be available through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should find out if your credit card offers certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.