Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to check those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with various features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are perfect for travel hacking:
- 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 qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to look up the details. From there, it’s all about racking miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are a few examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can even book entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you do not have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars on one flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few points away, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Make sure to verify that you are a family member 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 challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they’ll pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration making payments on them with an credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be prepared to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only achieve the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on these expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spend to earn rewards is by using your credit card for every day expenditures. This could include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This will give you access to a greater variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else and both of you earn rewards with your 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.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most effective method. By using an array of strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.