Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles that can then be used to get discounted or even free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and some knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to review the frequent flyer account to see which airline can give you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer a variety of benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are great to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit 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 make certain to verify the details. From there it’s all about building miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards sweet travel! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can make use of a combination of money and points to book your next trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the total cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful, if you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for one flight. If you’re only a couple of points short, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they will reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider repaying them using your credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using your credit card. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be prepared to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you thinking of.
There are many methods to get the most out of the travel credit card. earn miles or points to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you be able to hit the required amount for your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on those expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spend and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay every day expenditures. This could be things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, including dining or travel. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more 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 programme. This can give the benefit of a wider range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that aren’t available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover if your credit card offers certain benefits that will reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a companion and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to 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 of your credit card and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient way possible. By using an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.