Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to score discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to review your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards with many features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be perfect to use for hacking travel:
- 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 need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. From there it’s all about building up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the entire price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for flights. No worries though, if you’re just a few points away, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and are here to share some of 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 credit card, go for it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your family members to pay for theirs and they can repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider making payments on them with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
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 have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts using cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already thinking of.
There are a lot of methods to get the most of your travel credit card. accrue points or miles to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the required amount for your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards to pay daily expenses. This could include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so 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, like eating out or travelling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example using points to book a ticket directly with the airline might offer better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This can give an access larger selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, find out the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else 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. Also, make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.