Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which can be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes 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 use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to review those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards with a variety of features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are great for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to look up the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to use them towards sweet 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 have experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not 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 any credit card.
Are you tired 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 can’t combine dollars and points for one flight. If you’re just a few point short United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. Don’t worry because we’ve been there 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 your rent with credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due then ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they will pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about making payments on them with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you trust the person and they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts using cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are many ways to make the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. accrue points or miles to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for these costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement and earn points is using your credit card for everyday expenses. This could be things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a flight directly through the airline may give you a better return than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This will give an access wider variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to determine whether your credit card has some perks that could 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 can be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re making use of it in the most effective method possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.