Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which you can use to get discounted or even free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also allow you to 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 the credit card sign-up bonus and building out frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to review those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer various benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be excellent to hack travel
- 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 rules, so make certain to verify the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can combine money and points to pay for your trip. You can even book completely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the entire price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful in case you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for one flight. If you’re a few point short United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry 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 an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It may be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up then ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they’ll pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration paying them off with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they understand why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already planning to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most from your travel credit card. accrue points or miles to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for those expenses.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures. This can include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, like dining or travel. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This can give an access greater variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should determine whether your credit card has certain benefits that will reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.