Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which can be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about 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. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to review those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with various advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards great 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 limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to check for this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the providers I have experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can combine points and cash to pay for your travel. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the full price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired 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 dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes 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 points or dollars but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and are 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 with a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they’ll repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider paying them off with an credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already planning to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most of your travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum spend to earn your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spend to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards to pay for every day costs. This could be items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example using your points to book a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give you access to a greater variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, discover whether your credit card has certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card and make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most efficient way possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.