Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which you can use to get discounted or even cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental offers.
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 to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to review the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide various advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are excellent to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to check for the details. From there it’s all about building miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some sweet getaway! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can combine points and cash to pay for your trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful, if you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few point short United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through 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 credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider paying them off with an credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to look into any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all of your gifts with your credit card. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already planning to.
There are many ways to get the most out of your travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the required amount to earn your credit card, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards to pay for daily expenditures. This could include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example using points to book a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. This will give you access to a wider range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a friend, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.