Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which you can use to get discounted or even cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little creativity and some insider information, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading 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 will also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best deal. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards with a variety of features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved 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 certain to verify this information. From there it’s all about building miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to use them towards sweet vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can use a combination of points and cash 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 possess enough points for the total price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few point short United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, go for it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they can pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about repaying them using an credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and look into any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you planning to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most from the travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the required amount to earn your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by using your credit card to pay for daily expenses. This could be items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for specific 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 habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example using points to book a ticket directly with the airline could provide you with a greater return than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This can give an access greater selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to determine the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a friend, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient way possible. Through a combination 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 benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.