Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to look into your frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best price. It all boils down to the number of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide various features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be 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 be certain to verify the details. From there, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to plan your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some nice travel! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you are able to purchase flights through 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 realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few point short United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable 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 either dollars or points however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually about 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due then ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they can repay you.
Repay the loan
If you have any loans, consider paying them off with your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to make the most from your travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
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 hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the required amount to earn your credit card reward as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by using your credit card to pay for everyday costs. This could be things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, including dining or travel. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This will give the benefit of a wider range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that may not be available through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should find out if your credit card offers some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with someone else and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using this program in the most effective method. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.