Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles that can then be used to score discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some 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 as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to look into the frequent flyer account and determine which airline offers you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with various advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are excellent to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify the details. From there it’s all about building up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious getaway! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the providers I have experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can use a combination of money and points to pay for your trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful, if you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on one flight. If you’re only a couple of points short, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Make 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 buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up, ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they will repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about repaying them using an credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Just make sure you trust the person and they know why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most out of the travel credit card and earn miles or points to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum spend for your credit card reward as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement and earn points is utilising your credit cards to pay everyday expenses. This could include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and make use of 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, you might want to transfer the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might offer better return than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This gives the benefit of a wider variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should find out whether your credit card has certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with someone else each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most effective method. Utilizing an array of methods I’ve described that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.