Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which can be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards with a variety of benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be 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 have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to check for the details. Then you can begin to rack miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve worked with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your travel. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the total cost, you are able to purchase flights through the 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 flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few point short United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines which allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It might be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they will repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider making payments on them with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you planning to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most of your travel credit card and accrue points or miles to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the required amount for your credit card and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spend and earn points is making use of your credit card for everyday expenses. This could be items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them 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 flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This can give you access to a wider variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not available through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should discover if your credit card offers certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most effective way possible. Through 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 variety of travel benefits.