Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which you can use to score discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to check your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every 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 that provide a variety of advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few 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 card, you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to check for the details. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can combine money and points to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points on one flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few points short, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can 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 buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they will repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about making payments on them with your credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance 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 major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already thinking of.
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 airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum spend to earn your credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for the costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement and earn points is using your credit card to pay everyday expenditures. This can include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR 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.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a ticket directly through the airline may give you a better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This will give the benefit of a wider range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, determine whether your credit card has certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a friend and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using this program in the most effective method possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.