Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which you can use to get discounted or even free flights to your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time 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 use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to check your frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide many features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most essential 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
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make certain to verify the details. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points short, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and are 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 for your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It might be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration making payments on them with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you trust the person and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already contemplating to.
There are many ways to make the most of the travel credit card and accrue points or miles to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card reward, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spend and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay for daily expenses. This could include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using points to book a ticket directly through the airline may provide you with a greater return than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This gives you access to a greater range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover whether your credit card has some perks that could help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re making use of it in the most efficient way possible. By using a combination of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.