Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which you can use to score discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
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 building out a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to check your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with many features and benefits. It depends on the type of 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
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card, you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. From there it’s all about building up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to use them towards sweet getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Escape 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. In the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your travel. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the full price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points away, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and are 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 credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It might be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your family members to pay for theirs and they’ll reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider paying them off with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can earn miles or points to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll achieve the required amount for your credit card bonus and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on these costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards to pay every day expenditures. This can include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant 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 worth of various redemption options. For example you can use your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could offer better return than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This can give the benefit of a greater variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be available through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should discover whether your credit card has some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method. Through an array of strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.