Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free 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. The miles can be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to check those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best price. It all boils down to 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 a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide various advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards great to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to look up this information. Then, it’s all about racking miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious travel! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can even book completely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for 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 flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful, if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for one flight. If you’re just a few points short, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they’ll reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about repaying them using an credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts using the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already planning to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most from your travel credit card. accrue points or miles to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you achieve the required amount for your credit card reward, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for these costs.
Use your credit card for all your daily costs
Another way to meet the minimum spend and earn points is by using your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures. This could include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, like dining or travel. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using points to book a ticket directly through the airline may provide you with a greater return than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or reward program for hotels. This will give an access greater selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to determine whether your credit card has some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re using this program in the most efficient way possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed that you can get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.