Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which can be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to review those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer a variety of advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be great for travel hacking:
- 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 limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some delicious vacation! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve worked with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can use a combination of money and points to book your travel. You can even book completely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on flights. No worries though, if you’re a few points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 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 pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they can reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about repaying them using your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you thinking of.
There are many ways to make the most out of the travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the required amount for your credit card bonus and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by using your credit card to pay for everyday costs. This can include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a credit card, think about transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the 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 wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using points to book a flight directly with the airline could offer better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives an access wider variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to find out whether your credit card has some perks that could help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
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 ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most effective way possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.