Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to look into those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide a variety of benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and what features are important 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
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card, you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can use a combination of points and cash to book your next trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the entire price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points on one flight. If you’re just a few point short United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable 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 points or dollars however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they will pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about repaying them using an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t end up with 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 contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all of your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to make the most of using your credit or debit card for travel and accrue points or miles to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card bonus, but you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card to pay for everyday costs. This can include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use points to book a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives the benefit of a greater selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, determine the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most effective way possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.