Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which you can use to score discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards 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 car rental deals.
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 comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price 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 check the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the most value. It all boils down to the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that provide many benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be perfect to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to check for this information. From there it’s all about building up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet vacation! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your next trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the entire cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine points and dollars on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points away, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through 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 for your rent using credit card, then do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration paying them off with your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to 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 of your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel and earn miles or points to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for the costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card to pay for daily expenses. This can include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example using points to book a ticket directly through the airline may offer better value than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you have a wider range of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This gives an access larger variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to find out whether your credit card has any perks that can save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method. Through a combination of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.