Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which you can use to obtain discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to look into those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide a variety of advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are excellent to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some nice travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll have access to virtually every airline. You can make use of a combination of money and points to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the total cost, you still can buy flights with 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 know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for one flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of point short United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the spending limit 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 pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider paying them off with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts using cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already planning to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accrue points or miles to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover those expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by using your credit card for daily expenses. This could include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using points to book a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This will give the benefit of a wider range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that may not be offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with someone else and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most effective method possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.