Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles that can then be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little imagination and some know-how, you’ll 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 then be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group 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 to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to review your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best price. It all boils down to the number of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer various advantages and features. 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 a few credit cards great for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to look up the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some nice travel! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the total cost, you are able to purchase flights through the 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 your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points for one flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few point short United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy 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 the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 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 great way to hit the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up then ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider repaying them using your credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and look into any large expenses coming up which you could help pay 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 it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already planning to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum spend for your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for those costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is making use of your credit card for everyday costs. This could be items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, think about transferring the balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase 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 have a wider range of options and greater flexibility when you want to redeem 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 you access to a wider range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not available through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should discover if your credit card offers some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.