Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which can be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to look into your frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer a variety of advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to look up this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve worked with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for one flight. If you’re a few point short United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it 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 for your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they will pay you back.
Repay the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration repaying them using the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and look into any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all of your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already planning to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most from the travel credit card. accrue points or miles to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum spend to earn your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for the expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay for every day costs. This could include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This can give you access to a larger range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should find out if your credit card offers some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most effective method possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.