Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which can be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to review your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is to open a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect 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 limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be certain to verify this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards nice travel! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase credit card, then you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up 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 can’t combine dollars and points for the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points away, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature where you can combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before 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 quite frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and we’re 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, go for it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they can repay you.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider making payments on them with an credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you planning to.
There are many ways to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accrue points or miles to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card reward, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards to pay daily expenses. This could include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, such as dining or travel. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example, 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 your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This will give the benefit of a wider selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover if your credit card offers certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using this program in the most efficient method. Through all of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.