Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which can be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your ideal 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 the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to review your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide a variety of advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to check for this information. Then, it’s all about racking miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll have access to virtually every airline. You can use a combination of money and points to pay for your travel. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points short, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything 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 reach the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It may be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they will pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about making payments on them with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to make the most from the travel credit card and accrue points or miles to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for the costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards to pay for every day expenses. This could be items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them to purchase the purchase of 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 options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This will give the benefit of a larger selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, discover whether your credit card has any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method. Through all of the methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.