Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which you can use to score discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little creativity and some insider 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 then be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to look into your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points in your travel account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide many features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards excellent to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points via 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 next trip. You can even book completely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the full price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points for one flight. No worries though, if you’re a few points short, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they will repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration paying them off with an credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and look into any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all 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 contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel and accrue points or miles to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few 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 for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for these costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points using your credit card for daily costs. This can include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a ticket directly with the airline could give you a better return than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This can give you access to a wider selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re making use of it in the most effective method. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.