Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles that can then be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider know-how, 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 later be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles towards 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 building out frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to review the frequent flyer account to see which airline can give you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide a variety of benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to look up the details. Then it’s all about building up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards nice vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the total cost, you still 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 flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points away, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at 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 customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature where you can join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. 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 buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It might be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your family members to pay for theirs and they can pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration paying them off with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were planning to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most from using your credit or debit card for travel and accrue points or miles to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only achieve the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles for the expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points using your credit card to pay for daily costs. This can include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a credit card, consider transferring the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a ticket directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give you access to a wider range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that aren’t available through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
The key to making the most of 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. By using an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.