Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to look into your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the most value. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with various benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards excellent to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to look up this information. From there, it’s all about racking miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some nice vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the full cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using 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 can choose the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points on one flight. If you’re just a few point short United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they will repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about repaying them using your credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they understand why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with your credit card. This way you can hit that minimum spend and be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you thinking of.
There are a lot of methods to get the most out of the travel credit card and accrue points or miles to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever 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 expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the required amount to earn your credit card, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on those expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spend in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards for every day expenditures. This could be things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might 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 points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This gives an access wider selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine whether your credit card has any perks that can help you save money on travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to track your rewards separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most effective way possible. By using an array of methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.