Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to check those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide various advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be perfect to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to look up the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious vacation! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within 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 travel. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful in case you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on one flight. If you’re just a few point short United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and we’re 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 your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It might be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they can pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans, consider repaying them using your credit card. Make sure to pay off 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 look into any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already planning to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accrue points or miles to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. Not only will you achieve the minimum spend to earn your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by using your credit card to pay for daily costs. This can include things like gas, groceries, and 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
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For example using points to book a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a reward program for hotels. This gives the benefit of a greater range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, find out whether your credit card has some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card, and be sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most effective method. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.