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 a fun way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little imagination and some information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to check your frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer many advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are great to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your next trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any 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 to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. 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 anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they’ll pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider paying them off with an credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got 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 know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to make the most of the travel credit card and earn miles or points to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only achieve the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card bonus as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is making use of your credit card for every day expenditures. This can include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to book a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This can give you access to a wider variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will 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 very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most effective way possible. Utilizing all of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.