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 way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which can be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to review those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best price. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that offer various benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to look up the details. From there you can begin to rack miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards delicious getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful in case you do not have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for the same flight. If you’re only a couple of point short United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due then ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they will reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration making payments on them with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already thinking of.
There are many methods to get the most of your travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to book 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 reward and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover the costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards for daily expenditures. This can include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use points to book a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give the benefit of a larger selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, discover whether your credit card has some perks that could help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to track 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 making use of your credit card in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.