Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay 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 check the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the most value. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide many advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be great to use for hacking travel:
- 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 reach the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet getaway! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve worked with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to virtually every airline, and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the entire price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your 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 aren’t able to combine points and dollars for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points short, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up, ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they’ll pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about paying them off with an credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to 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, consider buying all of your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you planning to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most of the travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum spend to earn your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spend and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay everyday expenditures. This can include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using points to book a ticket directly with the airline might offer better value than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This can give you access to a larger variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover the card’s benefits. some perks that could help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card and 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 effective method possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.