Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which can be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to look into the frequent flyer account and determine which airline offers you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide various advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are perfect 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 spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make certain to verify this information. From there, it’s all about racking miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some nice travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal 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 travel. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? But, be careful, if you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there 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, go for it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they’ll repay you.
Repay the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration repaying them using an credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with your credit card. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were thinking of.
There are many methods to get the most from the travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only achieve the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card bonus, but you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenses.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spend to earn rewards is using your credit card for daily costs. This can include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you 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 bonus points for specific types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance, using points to book a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. This will give you access to a wider selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, discover whether your credit card has any perks that can reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a companion each of you will be able to get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of 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 using your credit card in the most effective method. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.