Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which can be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider information, 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. These miles can then be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to review those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best price. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that offer various advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards perfect to hack travel
- 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. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify 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 goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards sweet getaway! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the ones I have experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your next trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with 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 of paying using either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for one flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points 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 provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines which allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. 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 buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It might be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your family members to pay for theirs and they can pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about making payments on them with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they understand why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using your credit card. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already contemplating to.
There are many methods to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card bonus and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spend and earn points is by making use of your credit card to pay for daily expenses. This could include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, like dining or travel. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
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 worth of various redemption options. For example using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could offer better value than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives you access to a larger range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine whether your credit card has any perks that can reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with someone else and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using this program in the most effective method. Utilizing an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.