Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles that can then be used to score discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to look into your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best deal. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide many features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to look up this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some nice vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve worked with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire price, you can book flights using the 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 flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points away, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to 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 frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It might be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they will reimburse you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider paying them off with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got 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 are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already thinking of.
There are many ways to get the most out of the travel credit card. accrue points or miles to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you achieve the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card to pay everyday expenditures. This could be items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a ticket directly through the airline may offer better value than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This will give an access larger variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to find out the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with someone else and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most efficient way possible. Through an array of methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.