Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to review the frequent flyer account and determine which airline offers you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer a variety of benefits and features. It depends on the type of 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 perfect to hack 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 limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to look up this information. From there it’s all about building up miles and then 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 balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some nice travel! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can combine points and cash to pay for your trip. You can book your flight 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 are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on one flight. No worries though, if you’re just 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 flight experience with extra legroom and 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, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they will reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider paying them off with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using your credit card. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already thinking of.
There are many methods to get the most out of your travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending and earn points is utilising your credit cards to pay for daily costs. This could be items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, think about transferring the balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to book a ticket directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a wider variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should discover whether your credit card has any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient way possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.