Are you tired 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 method to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which can be used to get discounted or even free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the most value. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide a variety of advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be excellent 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 spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be certain to verify the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can combine money and points to book your trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you still can purchase flights through 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 dollars or points? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points on one flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of point short United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars but not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they will reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration repaying them using the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with 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 contribute 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 it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. 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 planning to.
There are many methods to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel and earn miles or points to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover those expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards for every day expenditures. This can include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use points to book a ticket directly through the airline may give you a better return than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a greater variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to discover if your credit card offers certain benefits that will reduce your travel costs. Many 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 a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using this program in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.