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 problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which you can use to get discounted or even free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to check the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards with a variety of benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be great 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 have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. Then it’s all about building up miles, and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some sweet vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to virtually every airline. You can use a combination of money and points to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of point short United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried 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 to pay for your rent with credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they’ll pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration repaying them using your credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all of your gifts with your credit card. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be prepared to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to make the most of your travel credit card. accrue points or miles to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card reward, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for these costs.
Use your credit card for everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards to pay daily costs. This can include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using points to book a flight directly with the airline could give you a better return than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This will give the benefit of a wider variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should determine the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most effective method possible. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.