Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little imagination and some knowledge, you can 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 and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to check your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all boils down to the number of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer many features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify this information. Then, it’s all about racking miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the providers I have experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can combine money and points to pay for your next trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any 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 to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you do not have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars on the same flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, 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 has a unique feature where you can combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Make 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 or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and are 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 with credit card, go for it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for a 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 will reimburse you.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans, consider making payments on them with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Just make sure you trust the person and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you planning to.
There are many methods to get the most from your travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only achieve the minimum spend for your credit card and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these costs.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spend in order to accumulate points using your credit card for everyday costs. This can include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, such as dining or travel. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may give you a better return than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a greater variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, find out if your credit card offers certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method. By using all of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.