Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which can be used to get discounted or even free flights to your dream destinations. With a little imagination and some knowledge, you can travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer various 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 great for travel hacking:
- 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 minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to check for this information. From there it’s all about building up miles, and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to use them towards sweet travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have an Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can use a combination of money and points to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you join your points with your family members and earn 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 anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. Don’t worry as we’ve done 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 using credit card, go for it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It may be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they can repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration repaying them using the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to look into any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts using your credit card. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already planning to.
There are many ways to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum spend for your credit card and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenses.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spend to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards to pay for daily expenses. This can include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might give you a better return than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a hotel rewards program. This can give you access to a greater variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be available through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should discover if your credit card offers some perks that could help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using it in the most effective way possible. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.