Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which you can use to score discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little creativity and some insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to check the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the best price. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer a variety of benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are perfect to use for hacking travel:
- 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 need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. Then it’s all about building miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, it’s time to use them towards nice getaway! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve worked with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines which allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it 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 with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover the medical bills. 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.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about paying them off with an credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to 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 with cards from your credit account. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already contemplating to.
There are many ways to make the most out of the travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use you travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum spend to earn your credit card as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for those costs.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card to pay everyday costs. This can include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, like dining or travel. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving 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, be sure to use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This will give you access to a wider variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, discover if your credit card offers some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of 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 the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card 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 them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.