Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles that can then be used to score discounted or free flights to your ideal 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 all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use 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 sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to look into the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer various features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect 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 hit the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to look up this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some nice getaway! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline. You can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on flights. No worries though, if you’re a few points short, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and 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 minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and are 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 credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It might be worth it 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 in the near future Ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they’ll pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about making payments on them with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were planning to.
There are many ways to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accumulate miles or points that you can use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card bonus, but you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenditures.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spend and earn points is using your credit card for every day expenditures. This can include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about 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 transfers. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This will give you access to a wider variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to determine if your credit card offers any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card and make sure you 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 know your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method possible. By using all of the methods I’ve described that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.