Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which can be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to look into your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that provide various benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards great to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. From there it’s all about building up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, it’s time to use them towards sweet travel! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can use a combination of money and points to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful in case you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on the same flight. No worries though, if you’re a few points away, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It may be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they will pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration making payments on them with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you contemplating to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most out of your travel credit card. earn miles or points to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum spend to earn your credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spend and earn points is by making use of your credit card for daily expenditures. This could be things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example you can use points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or hotel rewards program. This will give you access to a greater selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, find out whether your credit card has any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. Some cards offer 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 and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re using this program in the most effective way possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.