Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll fly for no cost 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 purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental 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 with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to look into your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards with various benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be certain to verify this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles, and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can combine money and points to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the total cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? Be careful that if you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for one flight. No worries though, if you’re a few point short United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to combine your points with your relatives to 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 like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3%. It might be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans, consider repaying them using the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and look into any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts using your credit card. 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 thinking of.
There are many ways to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card bonus, but you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by using your credit card for daily costs. This can include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds 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.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give an access wider variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover if your credit card offers any perks that can help you save money on travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to track your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.