Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which you can use to get discounted or even cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about 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 let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to look into those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best price. It all boils down to the number of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that provide many benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be great to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. From there it’s all about building up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards delicious getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve worked with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the total price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for flights. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can combine your points with your family members and earn 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 like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. 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 an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a fee, 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 minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they will reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider making payments on them with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to look into any major expenses in the near future 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 doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are many methods to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by making use of your credit card for every day expenses. This could be things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, including dining or travel. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example you can use points to book a ticket directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will let you have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This will give you access to a greater range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that may not be available through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. some perks that could help you save money on 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 and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using this program in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.