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 method to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which can be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program 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 to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to check the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all boils down to the number of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide many advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are perfect to hack 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 get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet getaway! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the full cost, you still 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 can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points for the same flight. If you’re a few points away, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make sure to verify that you are a family member 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 economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
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! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 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 spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your family members to pay for theirs and they will pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans, consider making payments on them with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are many ways to get the most of your travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum spend to earn your credit card as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles on those costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spend and earn points is by utilising your credit cards for everyday costs. This could include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, such as dining or travel. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This gives you access to a wider variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should determine whether your credit card has any perks that can save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer 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 and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method. By using all of the strategies I’ve listed that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.