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 way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little creativity and some insider knowledge, you can travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight consider the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to look into the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers 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 each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards with various features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are great to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to look up the details. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to use them towards sweet getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to virtually every airline. You can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points away, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It may be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due then ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they will reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider paying them off with an credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
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 trust the person and they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel and earn miles or points to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you achieve the minimum spend to earn your credit card and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card for every day expenses. This could include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example you can use points to book a ticket directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This will give you access to a wider selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with someone else, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using this program in the most efficient method. Utilizing a combination of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.