Are you tired of spending 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 bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which can be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
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 discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to review your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with a variety of features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards great to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to check for this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet travel! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It may 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 minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up then ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they can reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration paying them off with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to look into any big 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 taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you planning to.
There are many ways to make the most of your travel credit card. earn miles or points to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you achieve the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for those expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is using your credit card to pay for everyday costs. This could be items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This can give an access wider range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that aren’t available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to find out if your credit card offers any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards with your 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 travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of it in the most efficient method possible. By using an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.