Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which can be used to get discounted or even free flights to your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can 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 and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to check the frequent flyer account and determine which airline offers you the most value. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide various features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are great for travel hacking:
- 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 need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to look up this information. From there you can begin to rack up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious getaway! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase credit card, then you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can use a combination of points and cash to book your trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the total cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine points and dollars for flights. If you’re just a few points away, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points however, 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. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done 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 pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. 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 repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about making payments on them with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you contemplating to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel and accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use your 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 reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the expenditures.
Use your credit card for all your daily costs
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards to pay for daily costs. This could be items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance using your points to book a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives the benefit of a wider selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should find out if your credit card offers certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a friend and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to track your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re using this program in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.