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 woes. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles that can then be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to review those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards with a variety of features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to check for this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards delicious vacation! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can combine points and cash 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 be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of point short United provides the possibility of purchasing 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 space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct 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 the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they’ll repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about repaying them using the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts using your credit card. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were thinking of.
There are a lot of methods to get the most out of the travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. Not only will you be able to meet the required amount to earn your credit card reward, but you’ll also earn points or miles on the expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spend and earn points is by making use of your credit card to pay everyday expenses. This could be things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using your points to book a ticket directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or reward program for hotels. This will give an access wider selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, find out whether your credit card has some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do 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 effective method possible. Utilizing a combination of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.