Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a 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 discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to review your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best price. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer various features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be great for travel hacking:
- 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 minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make certain to verify this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can use a combination of money and points to book your 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 entire cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? But, be careful in case you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points short, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
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 be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they will reimburse you.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans, consider repaying them using your credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance completely 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 big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to get the most from the travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum spend for your credit card bonus and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by using your credit card to pay for daily expenses. This can include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a flight directly with the airline could 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 points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This can give you access to a greater range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
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 on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method. By using a combination of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.