Are you fed up of spending 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 way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your desired 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 about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to review your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer various advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be great to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to look up the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some nice getaway! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the full cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using 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 with either points or dollars? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine points and dollars on the same flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few points short, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually about 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider paying them off with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with your credit card. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you planning to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most from your travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only achieve the minimum spend for your credit card reward, but you’ll also earn points or miles on those costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by using your credit card for every day expenditures. This could include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example, using points to book a ticket directly with the airline might provide you with a greater 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 have a wider range of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give the benefit of a larger variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to discover the card’s benefits. any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve listed that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.