Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which you can use to score discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking consider the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to review your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the most value. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide many features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are excellent to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to look up this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice travel! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve worked with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to virtually every airline. You can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve 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 in cash with every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful in case you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for the same flight. If you’re only a couple of point short United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they’ll repay you.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration making payments on them with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any large 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 celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you thinking of.
There are a lot of methods to get the most out of the travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can 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 the travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles on the expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards to pay for daily costs. This could be things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, like dining or travel. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example, using your points to book a ticket directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a larger variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should discover the card’s benefits. any perks that can save you money on travel-related expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method. Through all of the strategies I’ve outlined 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.