Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus 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 permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to check your frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best price. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer many advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few 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 or debit card, you’ll need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. Then it’s all about building miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can combine money and points to book your travel. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using either points or dollars? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on the same flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? 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 you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they will repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans, consider making payments on them with an credit card. Be sure to pay off 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 major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with your credit card. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to make the most out of your travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you achieve the required amount to earn your credit card and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for the expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spend to earn rewards is using your credit card for everyday costs. This could include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could provide you with a greater return than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get 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 eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This can give the benefit of a larger range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, discover whether your credit card has some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re using it in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.