Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, 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 airline miles, that can then be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little imagination and some know-how, you’ll be jet-setting 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 later be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to check those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. It all boils down to the number of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer a variety of advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be excellent 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 reach the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be certain to verify this information. Then it’s all about building up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can combine points and cash to book your travel. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the balance 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 with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on the same flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry because we’ve been there 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, then do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It may be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up, ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they’ll pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider repaying them using the credit card you have. Make sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already planning to.
There are many methods to get the most from your travel credit card. 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 your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a 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. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card reward as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for these costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card to pay for every day expenditures. This could be items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, including dining or travel. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give an access greater range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that may not be available through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should find out whether your credit card has certain benefits that will reduce your travel costs. 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 a companion, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.