Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which can be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little 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 swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking 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 book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to check those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide various advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are perfect to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. From there, it’s all about racking miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious travel! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve worked with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to virtually every airline and you can make use of a combination of money and points to book your trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the total price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they will reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about paying them off with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any big 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 understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you thinking of.
There are many methods to get the most of your travel credit card and accrue points or miles to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card reward, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for the costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum spend and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay for every day costs. This could be items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, including dining or travel. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance using points to book a ticket directly with the airline could give you a better return than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This gives the benefit of a greater range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover whether your credit card has some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using it in the most efficient method possible. By using all of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.