Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which can be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little creativity and some insider knowledge, you can travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to look into those frequent flyer accounts to 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 bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer a variety of advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards excellent 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 or debit card, you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. From there it’s all about building miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet getaway! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve worked with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your travel. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total price, you can buy flights with 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 flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for flights. If you’re a few point short United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there 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, go for it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they can pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration repaying them using your credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and look into any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they know why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using your credit card. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of your travel credit card. accrue points or miles to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card bonus, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for the expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum spend and earn points is by using your credit card for every day expenses. This can include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using points to book a ticket directly through the airline may offer better return than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give you access to a larger variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method. By using all of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.