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 woes. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to look into the frequent flyer account to see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer many benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are perfect 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 have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be certain to verify the details. From there, it’s all about racking up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious vacation! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your travel. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few point short United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and we’re 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! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they will reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration paying them off with an credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and look into any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel and accrue points or miles to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to meet the minimum spend and earn points is by utilising your credit cards to pay for daily 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.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, like dining or travel. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has 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 amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This can give an access wider range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that aren’t accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover if your credit card offers any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using it in the most efficient method possible. By using an array of methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.