Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to check your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best deal. It all boils down to the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that offer various 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 card options that can be perfect for travel hacking:
- 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 hit the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to check for the details. Then, it’s all about racking miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards sweet travel! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to virtually every airline, and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your family members to pay for theirs and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider paying them off with your credit card. Make sure to pay 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 major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using your credit card. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you planning to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. accrue points or miles to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum spend to earn your credit card and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenses.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by making use of your credit card to pay everyday expenditures. This can include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance, using points to book a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This can give the benefit of a larger range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should discover whether your credit card has certain benefits that will reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re using this program in the most efficient method possible. Through a combination of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.