Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which you can use to get discounted or even cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to look into your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best price. It all boils down to the number of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that provide many features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice travel! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can combine points and cash to book your next trip. You can even book completely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full price, you can 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 full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re a few points short, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3%. It might be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your family members to pay for theirs and they can pay you back.
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 in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you planning to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accrue points or miles to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card reward, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for the costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spend in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card to pay for daily expenditures. This can include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, like dining or travel. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance, using points to book a ticket directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a wider selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with someone else each of you will be able to get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of it in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.