Are you fed up 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 convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which can be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to review your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide a variety of benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be excellent to hack 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 limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to look up the details. From there, it’s all about racking miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can use a combination of money and points to book your trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the total price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points on one flight. No worries though, if you’re a few point short United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they’ll reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about repaying them using the credit card you have. Be sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up 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 taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using your credit card. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most of the travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use you travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only achieve the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on these expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spend and earn points is by utilising your credit cards to pay for daily costs. This can include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This gives an access larger variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card and make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most efficient way possible. Through all of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.