Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which you can use to get discounted or even free flights to your desired destinations. With a little creativity and some insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay in 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 look into your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer many benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most 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 card, you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to check for this information. From there you can begin to rack up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can combine points and cash to pay for your next trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points for the same flight. If you’re a few points short, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there 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 to pay for your rent using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. 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 minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up then ask your family members to pay for theirs and they will pay you back.
Repay the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about repaying them using your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using your credit card. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were thinking of.
There are many ways to make the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel and accumulate miles or points that you can use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll achieve the required amount to earn your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover those expenditures.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points using your credit card to pay every day expenses. This could include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Take into consideration 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 the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could offer better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This can give an access larger selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, determine whether your credit card has any perks that can help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, 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 get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most effective method possible. By using an array of methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.