Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which can be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a bit of 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 trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to look into your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with many advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are excellent to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to look up the details. From there it’s all about building miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to use them towards delicious vacation! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to virtually every airline. You can use a combination of money and points to pay for your travel. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points away, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be 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 buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up, ask your family members to pay for theirs and they will reimburse you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration paying them off with your credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to see if they have any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were thinking of.
There are many ways to make the most out of your travel credit card. accrue points or miles to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by utilising your credit cards for every day expenditures. This could include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, including dining or travel. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using points to book a ticket directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a reward program for hotels. This can give the benefit of a wider variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to discover if your credit card offers any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to get rewards on your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to track your rewards separately.
The key 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 your credit card in the most efficient way possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.