Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a 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 airline miles that can then be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free 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 later be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take 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 flight is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to check the frequent flyer account and determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer various advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards great to hack travel
- 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 minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make certain to verify the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some nice vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on flights. If you’re just a few point short United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend 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 huge one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It may be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they can pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about repaying them using the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to look into any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were thinking of.
There are a lot of methods to get the most from the travel credit card and accrue points or miles to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum spend for your credit card and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for the expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card to pay for every day costs. This could be things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example, using points to book a flight directly with the airline could offer better return than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This can give you access to a larger range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that aren’t offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. some perks that could help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient way possible. Through an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.