Are you tired 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 convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which can be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to look into 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 account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum 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 miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the total cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars for one flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future Ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they’ll repay you.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about paying them off with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and look into any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you thinking of.
There are plenty of methods to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you achieve the minimum spend for your credit card, but you’ll also earn points or miles on these costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards for daily expenditures. This could include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto 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. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to book a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give the benefit of a greater variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover whether your credit card has any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a friend, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re using this program in the most efficient method possible. By using an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.