Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to turn 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 creativity and some insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to look into the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer various benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are 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 minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to look up the details. Then it’s all about building miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for flights. If you’re just a few point short United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It might be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit 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 will repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about repaying them using your credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are many methods to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accrue points or miles to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards to pay for everyday expenditures. This could include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, like dining or travel. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example, using your points to book a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This gives the benefit of a greater variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover whether your credit card has some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as 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, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to 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 the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most effective way possible. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.