Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline 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 information, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or 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 to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to look into those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide various advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are great for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If 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. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. Then it’s all about building miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to use them towards delicious vacation! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to virtually every airline and you can use a combination of money and points to pay for your next 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 the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful that if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for flights. If you’re just a few points short, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It might be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they can repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about making payments on them with an credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using your credit card. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already planning to.
There are many methods to get the most out of the travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum spend for your credit card bonus, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for the expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards to pay for everyday costs. This can include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, think about transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This will give the benefit of a larger variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover whether your credit card has certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
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 your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method possible. Through a combination of the methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.