Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which you can use to score discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to look into those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards with various features and benefits. 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 perfect to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to check for the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can combine money and points to book your travel. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars for flights. If you’re only a couple of point short United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make 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 buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is 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 way to reach the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they will pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider making payments on them with an credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any large 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 understand why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with your credit card. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. You can earn miles or points to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on these costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement and earn points is utilising your credit cards for everyday expenditures. This could be items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example using points to book a flight directly with the airline could offer better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This can give the benefit of a greater range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that may not be available through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should determine whether your credit card has some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of it in the most effective method possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.