Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which you can use to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
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 discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better 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 to find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with a variety of 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 a few credit cards excellent for travel hacking:
- 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 need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make certain to verify this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve worked with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can use a combination of money and points to pay for your travel. You can even book completely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you do not 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 to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member 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 difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and we’re here to share 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! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they can reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans, consider repaying them using an credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays 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. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to make the most from using your credit or debit card for travel and accrue points or miles to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only achieve the minimum spend to earn your credit card bonus, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover the expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards to pay for daily expenses. This could be things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, including dining or travel. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might offer better return than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will let you have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This can give you access to a greater range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that aren’t accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, determine the card’s benefits. some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient way possible. Through all of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.