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 welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little 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 the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental offers.
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 with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to check your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer a variety of advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are excellent to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to check for the details. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can combine money and points to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on flights. No worries though, if you’re just a few points short, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to pool your points together 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 I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn 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 huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It might be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they can reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about paying them off with an credit card. Make sure to pay 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 look into any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you planning to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most of your travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only achieve the required amount to earn your credit card reward as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenses.
Use your credit card for everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards to pay everyday expenditures. This could include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater return than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give you access to a larger range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should determine whether your credit card has some perks that could reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using this program in the most effective method. By using all of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.