Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which you can use to get discounted or even free flights to your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific 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 in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to review the frequent flyer account to see which airline can give you the best price. It all comes down to the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer various advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are great to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. From there, it’s all about racking miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful, if you do not have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 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 minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider paying them off with an credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you trust the person and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to make the most of your travel credit card and earn miles or points to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of the travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only achieve the required amount for your credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenses.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by using your credit card to pay daily expenses. This can include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, including dining or travel. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance onto 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. It will also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use your points to book a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This can give the benefit of a greater selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover whether your credit card has certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card and 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 using this program in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.