Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a little imagination and some know-how, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or 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 to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to review those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the most value. It all boils down to the number of miles or points in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards with many advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be great to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. Then you can begin to rack miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some delicious vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the providers I have experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to virtually every airline and you can combine money and points to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the total cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have 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 for one flight. No worries though, if you’re a few points away, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried 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 with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they can pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about paying them off with an credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you contemplating to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most out of the travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of your travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover those expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by utilising your credit cards to pay for everyday costs. This could be things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, like dining or travel. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example using your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This will give an access wider variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine if your credit card offers any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. 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.
If you’re traveling with a friend and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.