Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which you can use to score discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and some information, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about 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 let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide a variety of features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card, you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to check for this information. From there you can begin to rack up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the total cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points short, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it 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 for your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up then ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they’ll repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about making payments on them with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can hit that minimum spend and be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to get the most out of your travel credit card and accrue points or miles to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles for the costs.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay for daily expenditures. This can include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using points to book a ticket directly with the airline might offer better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This gives you access to a wider variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.