Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which you can use to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little creativity and some insider information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s best 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 look into those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards with many features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards nice getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your trip. 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 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 tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful that if you do not have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars on the same flight. If you’re just a few point short United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to 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 and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done 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 your rent with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It might be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due then ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they will repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration making payments on them with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to look into any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you thinking of.
There are many methods to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can earn miles or points to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll achieve the required amount to earn your credit card, 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 way to hit the minimum spend to earn rewards is making use of your credit card for daily costs. This can include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For instance using points to book a ticket directly through the airline may give you a better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This gives the benefit of a wider selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, determine the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card, and be sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.