Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which can be used to score discounted or free flights to 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 all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to review the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the best price. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer various benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect to hack 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 have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your travel. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on flights. If you’re a few points away, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite 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. 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 to pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It might be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial 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 in the near future, ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they’ll pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider making payments on them with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to look into any big expenses coming up that you can contribute 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 in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with your credit card. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most from the travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card for everyday expenditures. This could be items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example, using your points to purchase a flight 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 your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a larger variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should discover whether your credit card has certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.