Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which you can use to score discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can travel 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. The miles can be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to look into the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer various advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential 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
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to check for the details. Then it’s all about building up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of point short United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It might be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they will pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans, consider making payments on them with your credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using the credit card you have. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can earn miles or points to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only achieve the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenses.
Use your credit card for everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by using your credit card to pay for daily expenditures. This could include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance, using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could offer better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This gives an access larger selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out the card’s benefits. any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method. By using an array of methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.