Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which you can use to score discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to look into your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer a variety of benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial 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
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. From there it’s all about building up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards sweet travel! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful that if you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few point short United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration paying them off with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and look into any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you planning to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. accumulate miles or points that you can spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the required amount for your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for those expenses.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards to pay for everyday costs. This could be things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use points to book a ticket directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or hotel rewards program. This will give the benefit of a wider variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of it in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing all of the methods I’ve described that you can get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.