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 method to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which can be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little 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 swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to check the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer various features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards great for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your travel. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the total cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points for the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few point short United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to 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 You’re probably quite frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your family members to pay for theirs and they’ll repay you.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration paying them off with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to look into any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you trust the person and they understand why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all of your gifts with your credit card. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most out of the travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only achieve the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on these expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards for daily expenses. This could include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spend 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 wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer 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 eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This can give an access larger selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, find out whether your credit card has any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most effective method possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.