Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which can be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
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. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to look into your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best deal. It all comes down to the number of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide many advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are excellent for travel hacking:
- 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 get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to check for this information. Then you can begin to rack miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve worked with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can make use of a combination of money and points to book your next trip. You can even book completely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine points and dollars for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they will pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration repaying them using your credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were planning to.
There are many ways to make the most out of your travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles for the costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards to pay for everyday costs. This could include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example using points to book a ticket directly with the airline could offer better return than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This can give the benefit of a greater range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that may not be available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, find out whether your credit card has some perks that could reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using this program in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.