Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which you can use to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little imagination and some information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select 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 save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to look into your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best price. It all boils down to the number of miles or points in your travel account 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 offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide a variety of features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to check for this information. From there it’s all about building up miles, and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards sweet vacation! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to virtually every airline. You can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful, if you do not have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points short, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of 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 fee, usually around 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they will repay you.
Repay 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 completely so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were planning to.
There are many ways to get the most out of the travel credit card and earn miles or points to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card for booking 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 to earn your credit card reward as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on the costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum spend in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards to pay for everyday expenditures. This could be things like gas, groceries 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
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, including dining or travel. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This gives an access larger selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, find out if your credit card offers some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most effective way possible. By using all of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.