Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles that can then be used to get discounted or even free flights to your dream destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to look into the frequent flyer account and determine which airline offers you the most value. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide a variety of features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some 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 qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to look up this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some delicious vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the companies 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. Within this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can use a combination of money and points to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have 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 for flights. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? 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 similar to that of United Airlines that allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and are 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 with a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they will reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration repaying them using an credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. accrue points or miles to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you achieve the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card reward and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for the costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement and earn points is using your credit card to pay for daily costs. This can include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. 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.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater return than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This will give you access to a larger selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should discover if your credit card offers some perks that could reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re using this program in the most efficient way possible. Through all of the methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.