Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which can be used to score discounted or free flights to your dream 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 the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to check those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer a variety of advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are great 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 spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your travel. You can even book entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the total price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful 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 only a couple of points away, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they’ll reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration making payments on them with your credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already thinking of.
There are plenty of methods to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. accumulate miles or points that you can spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenditures.
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 daily expenditures. This could include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest 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 transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles 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 compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example using points to book a flight directly with the airline could give you a better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This can give you access to a greater variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to find out whether your credit card has some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a companion, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using it in the most effective way possible. Through an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.