Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles that can then be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then 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 car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses 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 price is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to check the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with a variety of features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are perfect to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be certain to verify this information. Then, it’s all about racking miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some nice travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline. You can combine points and cash to book your travel. You can even book entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful, if you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they’ll pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration making payments on them with an credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most from the travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you achieve the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card reward, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for the expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spend and earn points is using your credit card to pay daily costs. This can include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example, using points to book a ticket directly with the airline could give you a better return than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This gives the benefit of a wider selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should determine the card’s benefits. some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.