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 turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best 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 those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best price. It all boils down to the number of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer various 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 a few credit cards that are excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to look up this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards nice travel! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can combine points and cash to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the total cost, you still can book flights using 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 of paying using either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, 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 offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It may be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans, consider repaying them using your credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to look into any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they understand why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration 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 gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are plenty of methods to get the most of the travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum spend for your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles for the costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to meet the minimum spend in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards to pay daily expenses. This could include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use points to book a ticket directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives you access to a wider selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards separately.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using this program in the most efficient method possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.