Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can 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 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 deals.
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 on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to look into the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide many features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect for travel hacking:
- 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 receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify this information. From there you can begin to rack up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some nice travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the total price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up 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? Be careful, if you do not have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for flights. No worries though, if you’re a few points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry because we’ve been there 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 pay a fee, usually about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up then ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration making payments on them with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can 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 doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already planning to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most of the travel credit card. earn miles or points to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you achieve the required amount to qualify for a credit card, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover the expenses.
Utilize 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 for daily expenditures. This can include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, like dining or travel. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance, using points to book a flight directly with the airline could offer better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This gives you access to a larger selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover whether your credit card has any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with someone else and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to track the rewards you earn 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 on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method possible. By using all of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.