Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles that can then be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to check your frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer various benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards 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 or debit card, you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. From there you can begin to rack up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase credit card, then you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can combine money and points to book your travel. You can even book entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful, if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for the same flight. If you’re just a few points short, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and are 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 with credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration repaying them using the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they understand why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to get the most of your travel credit card and accrue points or miles to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only achieve the minimum spend for your credit card reward, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover the costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card to pay every day costs. This could include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card 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, think about transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to book a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater return than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This will give the benefit of a wider selection 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. any perks that can help you save money on travel 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.
If you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re using it in the most efficient method. By using all of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.