Are you tired of spending 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 welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles that can then be used to score discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to check the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the best deal. It all boils down to the number of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is 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, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make certain to verify this information. Then it’s all about building up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards sweet getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to virtually every airline, and you can use a combination of money and points to book your travel. You can even book completely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware in case you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few point short United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and 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. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re 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 with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your family members to pay for theirs and they can reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about making payments on them with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using the credit card you have. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are many methods to get the most from your travel credit card. accrue points or miles to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to meet the required amount for your credit card as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on these costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards to pay everyday expenditures. This could be things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using points to book a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This will give you access to a wider selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, determine the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.