Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which you can use to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay 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 those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the most value. It all boils down to the number of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide a variety of 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 a few credit cards that are excellent 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 reach the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to look up the details. From there it’s all about building miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some nice travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, 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 next trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for flights. If you’re just a few points away, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. Don’t worry 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 huge 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%. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your family members to pay for theirs and they will reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans, consider paying them off with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and see if they have any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you planning to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most of your travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum spend for your credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by using your credit card for every day costs. This could include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, like dining or travel. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might provide you with a greater return than using them for 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 enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This will give the benefit of a larger range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that aren’t offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out if your credit card offers any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method. By using all of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.