Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which can be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking consider the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to look into those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best price. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with various benefits 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 excellent 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 limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to look up this information. Then it’s all about building up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some nice travel! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for the same flight. If you’re just a few points away, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines which allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It might be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they’ll repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about repaying them using an credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and look into any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you trust the person and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts using cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of your travel credit card. earn miles or points to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card, but you’ll also earn points or miles for these costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card for everyday expenses. This can include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance using your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may give you a better return than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will let you have a wider range of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This will give an access wider range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover whether your credit card has some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. Some 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 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 be sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.