Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which you can use to score discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to check the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all comes down to the number of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards with many advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted 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 be sure to check for this information. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to use them towards sweet travel! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve worked with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your next trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you do not have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points short, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines which allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for 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 huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3%. It might be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they will reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration repaying them using the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most of the travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum spend to earn your credit card as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those expenditures.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenses
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by using your credit card for everyday expenditures. This can include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and avail 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 high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto 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’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example you can use points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you have a wider range of options and greater flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This will give the benefit of a greater range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of it in the most effective method possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.