Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which can be used to score discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a little creativity and some insider knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in 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 book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer many features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial 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
If you’ve been approved for a credit 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 sure to check for the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious vacation! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from a few of the providers I have experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful in case you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for flights. No worries though, if you’re a few point short United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your family members to pay for theirs and they’ll reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about repaying them using an credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to make the most from your travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only achieve the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card bonus and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on the expenses.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards for everyday costs. This can include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could give you a better return than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This can give the benefit of a greater selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method. Utilizing an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.