Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer 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 free flights to your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards 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 rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking 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 higher than $500, it’s best to review the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the best price. It all boils down to the number of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide various benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards perfect 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 have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to look up this information. Then it’s all about building up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice travel! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are a few examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can use a combination of money and points to book your next trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you still 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 know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using dollars or points? But, be careful in case you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on flights. If you’re only a couple of points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It may be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they can reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration repaying them using your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and look into any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were thinking of.
There are plenty of methods to get the most out of your travel credit card and accrue points or miles to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. 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 trip, use you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only 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 to cover the expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards to pay for daily expenses. This can include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could offer better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This gives the benefit of a greater variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine the card’s benefits. any perks that can save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a companion, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re using this program in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.