Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which you can use to score discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about 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 permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to look into those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer various benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be excellent 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 need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, 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!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some nice vacation! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have an Chase credit card, then you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful, if you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points on one flight. If you’re only a couple of points away, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for a 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! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It may be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they’ll repay you.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about paying them off with your credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using your credit card. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already planning to.
There are many ways to get the most of your travel credit card. earn miles or points to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum spend to earn your credit card reward and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spend to earn rewards is by using your credit card to pay daily costs. This could be things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using points to book a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a hotel rewards program. This can give an access wider variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should discover whether your credit card has certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when 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 your rewards separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using it in the most efficient method. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.