Are you fed up 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 method to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles that can then be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and some information, you’ll 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. These miles can then be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is under $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 higher than $500, it’s best to look into your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer various features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be excellent to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify this information. Then it’s all about building 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 use them towards delicious vacation! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase credit card, then you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and 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 enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of point short United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they will reimburse you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration paying them off with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
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 have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already planning to.
There are many methods to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles on these costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by utilising your credit cards to pay daily expenditures. This could include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example using points to book a ticket directly through the airline may offer better return than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or hotel rewards program. This gives the benefit of a larger selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out the card’s benefits. some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with someone else and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective way possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.