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 sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles that can then be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to look into the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the best price. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide a variety of advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect to hack travel
- 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 limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the entire cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points away, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct 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 I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It might be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they will reimburse you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about making payments on them with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with your credit card. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are many ways to make the most from the travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on the expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card to pay for daily expenses. This could be 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 accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, including 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.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use your 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 an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This can give an access wider range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that may not be available through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should find out if your credit card offers certain benefits that will reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of 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 on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method possible. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.