Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which you can use to score discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to look into your frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that offer many advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be excellent 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 have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to use them towards sweet getaway! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the total cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points on one flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of point short United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up, ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration repaying them using the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to get the most out of the travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these costs.
Use your credit card for everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spend to earn rewards is making use of your credit card to pay daily expenditures. This could be items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, like dining or travel. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use points to book a ticket directly with the airline could offer better value than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. 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 frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This will give you access to a wider variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t available through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should determine if your credit card offers any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card, and be 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 the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most effective way possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.