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 a fun way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to look into your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide many advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be perfect for travel hacking:
- 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 limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some delicious travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the ones I have 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. Within this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your trip. You can even book completely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any 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 have the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of point short United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines which allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It might be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due then ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they’ll repay you.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration paying them off with your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of the travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card reward as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another method to reach the minimum spend in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards to pay for everyday costs. This could include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For instance, using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will let you have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This gives the benefit of a wider variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover if your credit card offers 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 could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most efficient way possible. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.