Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which can be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to look into your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best price. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with various advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be excellent to hack travel
- 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 spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. From there it’s all about building miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your 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. Here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to virtually every airline, and you can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your trip. You can even book completely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total price, you can purchase flights through 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 flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for one flight. If you’re a few points away, United provides 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 legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to pool your points together with your relatives to 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.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re 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 minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and are here to share some of 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 credit card, go for it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they will repay you.
Repay the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about repaying them using an credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using your credit card. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are many ways to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accumulate miles or points that you can use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you achieve the minimum spend for your credit card bonus, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement and earn points is utilising your credit cards to pay for every day expenditures. This could be items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to book a flight directly with the airline could give you a better return than using them for the purchase of 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 instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. This can give an access greater selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should discover whether your credit card has any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most effective way possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.