Are you tired of spending 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 convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which you can use to obtain discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and some information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to look into those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide a variety of benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards excellent 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 have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. From there it’s all about building up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline. You can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the total cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful 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 just a few points away, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct 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.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending 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 we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It might be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider making payments on them with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all of your gifts with your credit card. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were planning to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. accrue points or miles to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you achieve the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenses.
Use your credit card for everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spend and earn points is utilising your credit cards to pay for daily costs. This can include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might give you a better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This will give an access larger selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to discover whether your credit card has some perks that could reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most effective method. By using an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.