Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which can be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little imagination and some know-how, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to check your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer a variety of features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect 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 minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can make use of a combination of money and points to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for flights. If you’re a few point short United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can 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, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried, 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 big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It might be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your family members to pay for theirs and they’ll repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration paying them off with your 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
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with your credit card. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you thinking of.
There are a lot of methods to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel and earn miles or points to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for the expenses.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by using your credit card to pay for daily expenditures. This can include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, such as dining or travel. Make sure you review 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 are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For instance, using points to book a ticket directly with the airline might offer better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This will give the benefit of a wider selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should find out if your credit card offers any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards separately.
The key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re using it in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.