Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which can be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better 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 your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best price. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer various features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards excellent 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 need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful that if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for one flight. If you’re only a couple of points short, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars 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 establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they can pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans, consider paying them off with an credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to look into any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they understand why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to make the most of your travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to hit the required amount for your credit card bonus, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for these expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by using your credit card for every day costs. This could include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance using points to book a ticket directly with the airline could offer better value than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. This can give you access to a wider selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should discover if your credit card offers certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of 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 methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.