Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which you can use to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to look into your frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer many benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect to hack 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 get the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. From there it’s all about building up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to use them towards nice travel! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on one flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few point short United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they can repay you.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration repaying them using the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and look into any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all of 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 paying more than you contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most from the travel credit card. accrue points or miles to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card reward, but you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenses.
Use your credit card for all your daily costs
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by using your credit card for everyday expenses. This can include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using points to book a flight directly through the airline may give you a better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This will give an access wider range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that may not be accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a companion and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method. By using 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.