Are you tired 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, that can then be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to look into those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with a variety of features and benefits. 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
If you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to check for this information. Then it’s all about building up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious travel! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can make use of a combination of money and points to book your trip. You can even book completely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired 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? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for flights. No worries though, if you’re just a few point short United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through 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 to pay for your rent using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they will pay you back.
Repay the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider paying them off with your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to look into any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they understand why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were planning to.
There are many methods to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. accrue points or miles to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card bonus as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards to pay for daily expenditures. This can include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, like dining or travel. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage 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 credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example you can use points to book a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or reward program for hotels. This can give the benefit of a greater range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should determine if your credit card offers certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a companion and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most effective way possible. Through an array of methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.