Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to look into your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer various advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be great to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to look up this information. Then you can begin to rack miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards delicious getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to virtually every airline and you can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful, if you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on one flight. If you’re just a few points short, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it 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 credit card, go for it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they can reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration making payments on them with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you planning to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel and accumulate miles or points that you can use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card bonus, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards for everyday expenditures. 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 accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in 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 allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example using points to book a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a larger variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with someone else, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most effective method. Through all of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.