Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which can be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight consider the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to review the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards with a variety of benefits and features. It depends on the type of 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
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to check for this information. From there, it’s all about racking miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some nice travel! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the full 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 full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine points and dollars on flights. If you’re a few points away, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit 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 a big one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they’ll pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration making payments on them with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already planning to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel and accumulate miles or points that you can use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the required amount to earn your credit card, but you’ll also earn points or miles on those costs.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spend in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card to pay every day costs. This could be items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example using points to book a ticket directly through the airline may offer better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give you access to a larger range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that aren’t offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. some perks that could reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a companion each of you will be able to get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient way possible. Through an array of methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.