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 an exciting method to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which you can use to get discounted or even cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to look into the frequent flyer account and determine which airline offers you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer many advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect to hack 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 spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to check for the details. Then, it’s all about racking miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some delicious travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve worked with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can combine points and cash to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the full cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars for flights. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of point short United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll pay you back.
Repay the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about repaying them using the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you planning to.
There are plenty of ways to make 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 a few additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the required amount to earn your credit card as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for the expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards for daily costs. This could be things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This can give you access to a wider range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover the card’s benefits. some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on 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 using this program in the most efficient method. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.