Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little bit of 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 exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to review your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best price. It all comes down to the number of miles or points in your travel account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be excellent to use for hacking travel:
- 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 need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be certain to verify the details. From there it’s all about building up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to use them towards sweet travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve worked with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can combine points and cash to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for the same flight. If you’re a few point short United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for 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 using credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due then ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they will repay you.
Repay the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about paying them off with your credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you planning to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can earn miles or points to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you achieve the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on these expenses.
Use your credit card for everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spend to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards for daily expenditures. This can include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This will give the benefit of a larger variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to discover whether your credit card has certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method. Utilizing all of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.