Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which can be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to look into those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer many advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are 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 reach the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to check for this information. From there it’s all about building up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine points and dollars for one flight. If you’re a few points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It might be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your family members to pay for theirs and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about making payments on them with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and look into any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you planning to.
There are many methods to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by using your credit card for daily expenditures. This can include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a credit card, think about transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give you access to a wider selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should discover if your credit card offers any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a friend and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most effective method possible. By using a combination of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.