Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles that can then be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little bit of 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 all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to review those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best price. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with various advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be certain to verify this information. From there it’s all about building miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can combine points and cash to pay for your next trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on the same flight. If you’re a few point short United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover a 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 repay you.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider repaying them using the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to make the most from using your credit or debit card for travel and accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use you 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 meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card reward as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card to pay for every day expenditures. This can include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example, using points to book a flight directly with the airline might offer better return than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This gives the benefit of a larger range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that aren’t accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover if your credit card offers certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card, and be 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 of your credit card and make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective way possible. By using an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.