Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which can be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to check those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide many benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect 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 need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice getaway! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve worked with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can use a combination of money and points to pay for your travel. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the full 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 tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points on one flight. If you’re just a few points short, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3%. It may be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they will reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about repaying them using the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that 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 cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you thinking of.
There are plenty of methods to get the most from the travel credit card. earn miles or points to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only achieve the required amount for your credit card, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for the costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spend to earn rewards is by using your credit card to pay for everyday expenses. This could be things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, including dining or travel. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For instance using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might offer 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 have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This will give the benefit of a greater range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that may not be accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should determine the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a companion and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.