Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which can be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to look into your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide many features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards excellent to hack 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 reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to check for the details. From there it’s all about building miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
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 nice travel! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can combine points and cash to book your next trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine points and dollars on one flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of point short United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family 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 quite economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. 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 a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they’ll pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration making payments on them with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to see if they have any large expenses coming up 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 you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you contemplating to.
There are many ways to make the most from the travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on these expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards for every day expenses. This could include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This can give the benefit of a larger selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, find out the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card, and be sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of it in the most effective method possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.