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 way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which you can use to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll be jet-setting 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 rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to look into the frequent flyer account to see which airline can give you the best deal. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards with many advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards great 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 have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to look up the details. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards nice vacation! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the full cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points short, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re 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 minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of 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 a credit card, do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It may be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they’ll repay you.
Repay the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration repaying them using an credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay 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 in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were planning to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most out of the travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the required amount to earn your credit card reward as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for the costs.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is using your credit card to pay for daily costs. This could be things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could offer better value than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater 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 Hotel rewards programme. This will give you access to a larger range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks which are not accessible 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 costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a friend and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re making use of it in the most efficient method possible. Through an array of strategies I’ve outlined that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.