Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles that can then be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to review your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that provide various benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards great to use for hacking travel:
- 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. Each card has its own guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. Then it’s all about building up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to use them towards delicious vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the ones I have experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for one flight. If you’re only a couple of point short United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Just make sure you can 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 buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they can repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration repaying them using the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with your credit card. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you contemplating to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to meet the required amount for your credit card bonus, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is using your credit card for everyday costs. This could be items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Take into consideration 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 allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For example, using points to book a flight directly with the airline could offer better return than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This gives the benefit of a wider variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, determine whether your credit card has certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re using this program in the most efficient method possible. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.