Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which you can use to score discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to review the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with a variety of benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards great to hack 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 minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be certain to verify the details. Then it’s all about building up miles, and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious travel! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to virtually every airline. You can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points on one flight. No worries though, if you’re a few points short, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they’ll pay you back.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration paying them off with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and see if they have 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 this.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with your credit card. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you thinking of.
There are plenty of methods to get the most out of the travel credit card and accrue points or miles to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card reward, but you’ll also earn points or miles for these costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards to pay every day expenses. This could be items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, including dining or travel. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For instance using your points to book a flight directly with the airline could give you a better return than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give the benefit of a larger variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with someone else, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most effective method. Through a combination of the methods I’ve described that you can get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.