Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little 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 trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to review the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with various benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are essential 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
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to check for the details. Then you can begin to rack 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 use them towards sweet vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to virtually every airline and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the funds to pay 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 using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines that allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
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 pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration repaying them using an credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most of your travel credit card. earn miles or points to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of you travel credit card to book 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 to earn your credit card bonus, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenditures.
Use your credit card for everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card to pay for every day expenditures. This can include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example using your points to book a ticket directly through the airline may provide you with a greater return than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This can give an access wider range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that may not be accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to determine the card’s benefits. some perks that could reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a friend and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re using this program in the most effective method. By using all of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.