Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which you can use to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. 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 to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight 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 look into those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer many features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are excellent for travel hacking:
- 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. Each card has its own guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. Then it’s all about building miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet vacation! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your next trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful in case you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on one flight. If you’re a few point short United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
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! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It might be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they can pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about paying them off with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were planning to.
There are many methods to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can earn miles or points to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the required amount for your credit card bonus, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards to pay every day expenses. This could include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use points to book a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater return than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This will give an access larger 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 determine whether your credit card has certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a companion and both of you get rewards on 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.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using this program in the most efficient method possible. Through a combination of the methods I’ve described that you can get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.