Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which you can use to score discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to check the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer various benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be perfect to use for hacking 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 hit the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your travel. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few point short 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 travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they’ll repay you.
Repay the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about making payments on them with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with your credit card. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to make the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel and accrue points or miles to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the required amount for your credit card reward as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on the expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by using your credit card to pay for every day expenses. This can include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example using your points to book a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or reward program for hotels. This gives an access greater range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that aren’t accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, determine whether your credit card has any perks that can save you money on travel-related expenses. Some 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 companion and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most effective method. By using an array of strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.