Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which can be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and some information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight consider the cost. 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 higher than $500, it’s best to look into the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide various advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are great to hack 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. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to check for this information. Then it’s all about building up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, it’s time to use them towards delicious getaway! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the entire cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines that allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they will repay you.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about repaying them using an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and look into any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you contemplating to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most of your travel credit card. earn miles or points to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you be able to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card to pay for daily costs. This could include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, like dining or travel. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example, using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could offer better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This gives the benefit of a larger variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine if your credit card offers certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most effective method possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.