Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which you can use to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and some information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to look into your 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 savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with many benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be perfect 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 have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious travel! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can use a combination of money and points to pay for your next trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using dollars or points? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for one flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few point short United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they’ll reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about repaying them using your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and look into any large expenses coming up that you can contribute 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 in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were planning to.
There are a lot 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 the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. Not only will you achieve the minimum spend for your credit card, but you’ll also earn points or miles for the expenditures.
Use your credit card for everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card to pay every day expenses. This could be items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example, using your points to book a ticket directly through the airline may offer better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This can give the benefit of a greater variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, determine whether your credit card has any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to 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 this program in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.