Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which you can use to score discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $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 review the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the most value. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide various advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards excellent 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 need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be certain to verify the details. From there it’s all about building miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some delicious vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars on one flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few points away, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to pool your points together 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 companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach 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 reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration repaying them using an credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and look into any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already planning to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most from your travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only achieve the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles on the expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is using your credit card to pay every day costs. This could include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, including dining or travel. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For example using points to book a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This can give you access to a wider variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, determine if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with someone else and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most efficient method possible. By using a combination of the methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.