Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which can be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and some know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to check your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer a variety of features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards 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 qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to look up this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to book 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 nice getaway! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful that if you do not have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars on one flight. If you’re just a few points away, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and we’re 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 a credit card, do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due then ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they can repay you.
Repay the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider repaying them using the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you contemplating to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card reward, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card to pay for daily costs. This could be things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater return than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This will give you access to a greater variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not available through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should determine whether your credit card has some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of it in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing a combination of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.