Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. 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 free flights to your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to check the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the most value. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with a variety of benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be great 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 have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve worked with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase credit card, then you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your travel. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the total price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful, if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for one flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few point short United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending 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 tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about paying them off with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to make the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for the expenses.
Use your credit card for everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending and earn points is utilising your credit cards for daily costs. This could include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example using points to book a ticket directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give the benefit of a greater selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, discover whether your credit card has certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method possible. Utilizing all of the methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.