Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles that can then be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to look into those frequent flyer accounts and 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 savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer various features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit 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 look up the details. Then you can begin to rack miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to use them towards delicious vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve worked with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for the same flight. If you’re just a few points short, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried 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 to pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up then ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they will pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration making payments on them with an credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and look into any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they understand why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using your credit card. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are many ways to make the most from using your credit or debit card for travel and accrue points or miles to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you achieve the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenses.
Use your credit card for everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by using your credit card for daily expenses. This could include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, consider transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to 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 prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using your points to book a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or reward program for hotels. This can give an access wider range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that aren’t accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should determine whether your credit card has any perks that can reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most efficient way possible. By using all of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.