Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which can be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to review your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with various benefits 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 card options that can be excellent to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to look up the details. Then it’s all about building up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, it’s time to use them towards nice vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to virtually every airline, and you can use a combination of points and cash to book your trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on flights. No worries though, if you’re just a few point short United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Be 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 I’m sure you’re pretty economical 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 are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due then ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they will repay you.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about paying them off with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you contemplating to.
There are many ways to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. accrue points or miles to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only achieve the required amount for your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points using your credit card for every day expenditures. 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 pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For instance using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could offer better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives an access wider range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that may not be offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to track your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method. Through all of the strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.