Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost 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 over $500, you’ll need to check your frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be excellent 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 get the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. From there it’s all about building up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to use them towards delicious vacation! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of point short United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
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! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. 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 an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they will pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about making payments on them with an credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to get the most of your travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card to pay for daily expenses. This can include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance, using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or reward program for hotels. This gives you access to a wider selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should determine whether your credit card has certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a friend, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method possible. By using an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.