Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to look into your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide many benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once 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. Each card has its own guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. Then you can begin to rack miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the ones I have experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can use a combination of money and points to book your travel. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars on flights. If you’re just a few point short United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you combine your points with your family members and 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 or my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up then ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they can pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about paying them off with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and look into 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 are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be prepared to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for those expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is using your credit card to pay for daily expenses. This can include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, including dining or travel. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a ticket directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This can give an access greater 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 determine the card’s benefits. some perks that could reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient way possible. Through an array of strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.