Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which can be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little creativity and some 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 swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to check those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide a variety of benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be excellent 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 need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. Then you can begin to rack miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, it’s time to use them towards sweet vacation! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are a few examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points on flights. If you’re a few points short, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, go for it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It might be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up then ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about making payments on them with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most of your travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you achieve the minimum spend for your credit card as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover the expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending and earn points is utilising your credit cards to pay for daily costs. This could be things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review 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, you might want to transfer that balance onto the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using points to book a ticket directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a hotel rewards program. This can give the benefit of a larger range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should discover the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards separately.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient way possible. Through an array of strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.