Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which can be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll fly for no cost 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. These miles can then be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to review those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that provide many features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be 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 hit the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles and 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 balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some delicious travel! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have an Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to virtually every airline. You can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your travel. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every 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 of paying using dollars or points? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before 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 frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up, ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they will pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider making payments on them with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re 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, consider buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to make the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. accrue points or miles to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card reward, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards to pay for daily expenses. This could include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may offer better return than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This will give an access larger range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that aren’t accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover whether your credit card has any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using this program in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.