Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a bit of 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 the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all comes down to the number of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer various features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be perfect to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. From there it’s all about building up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to use them towards nice getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the providers I have experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can make use of a combination of money and points to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the total cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re a few points short, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. 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 like me or my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It may be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they’ll pay you back.
Repay the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider paying them off with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have 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 understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were contemplating to.
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 be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles on those costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is utilising your credit cards to pay for everyday expenditures. This could be things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, like dining or travel. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use points to book a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This can give the benefit of a greater variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using it in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve outlined that you can get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.