Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which can be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a bit of 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 swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to look into your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with many advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are excellent to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to look up the details. Then you can begin to rack miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to use them towards delicious vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can use a combination of money and points to book your travel. You can even book entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the full price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for one flight. If you’re only a couple of points away, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to 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 where you can combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. But don’t fret 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 to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It may be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they can reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration repaying them using your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and look into any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you planning to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most of the travel credit card. earn miles or points to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll achieve the required amount to qualify for a credit card, but you’ll also earn points or miles on the costs.
Use your credit card for everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by utilising your credit cards for every day costs. This could be things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, like dining or travel. Check out 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 credit card, think about transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For example using 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 rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This will give you access to a wider range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that aren’t available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, determine if your credit card offers some perks that could help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using it in the most effective method possible. By using a combination of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.