Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which can be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better 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 check the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the best price. It all boils down to the number of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards with a variety of features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards perfect to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to check for this information. From there, it’s all about racking miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to use them towards sweet getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase card, 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 money and points to book your travel. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of point short United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and are 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 with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It may be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they can reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans, consider paying them off with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any large 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 understand why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you planning to.
There are many ways to get the most of the travel credit card. accrue points or miles to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenditures.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spend to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card to pay everyday expenditures. This could be things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could offer better value than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give the benefit of a wider variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, determine the card’s benefits. any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.