Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles that can then be used to get discounted or even free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and some knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to look into your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with various features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards great for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to use them towards delicious vacation! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your travel. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points for the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points short, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to verify that you are a family member 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 thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It may be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about paying them off with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and look into any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using your credit card. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you thinking of.
There are a lot of methods to get the most of the travel credit card and earn miles or points to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. Not only will you be able to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spend to earn rewards is making use of your credit card to pay for everyday costs. This could be things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For example using points to book a ticket directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This gives the benefit of a wider selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know 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 methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.