Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which you can use to get discounted or even free flights to your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and some information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to check the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the best price. It all comes 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 to travel hacking? First step to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with a variety of benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be perfect to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make certain to verify the details. Then it’s all about building miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to virtually every airline and you can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your travel. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire 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 fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points on flights. No worries though, if you’re a few point short United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re 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 with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. 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 a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider making payments on them with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and look into any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already planning to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. accrue points or miles to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card reward, but you’ll also earn points or miles on those costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards to pay for every day expenses. This could be items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For example using points to book a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow 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 rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This will give the benefit of a wider range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, determine whether your credit card has any perks that can save you money on travel-related expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a friend and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.