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 woes. It’s a fun way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which can be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to review your frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all boils down to the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide many benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are excellent 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 limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be certain to verify the details. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to use them towards nice getaway! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can even book entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for the same flight. If you’re only a couple of points away, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they’ll repay you.
Repay the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider making payments on them with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. This way you can hit that minimum spend and be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to make the most from the travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum spend to earn your credit card reward, but you’ll also earn points or miles on those costs.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spend in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards to pay daily expenditures. This could be things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a credit card, consider transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This gives the benefit of a wider variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should discover whether your credit card has certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most effective way possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.