Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which you can use to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price 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 number of miles or points in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer various benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards perfect to use for hacking 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 hit the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to look up this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve worked with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your travel. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on the same flight. No worries though, if you’re a few points away, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can 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 You’re probably quite frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration making payments on them with your credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using your credit card. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to make the most of your travel credit card. accrue points or miles to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card reward as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spend in order to accumulate points using your credit card to pay for daily costs. This could include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example using your points to book a flight directly with the airline might 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 rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This can give the benefit of a wider variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to determine whether your credit card has some perks that could 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.
If you’re traveling with a friend and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most effective method possible. Through an array of strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.