Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
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 a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight consider the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to review those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best deal. It all comes down to the number of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer various advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are excellent 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 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 sure to look up this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Getaway 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. Through this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can combine money and points to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on the same flight. If you’re only a couple of points away, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through 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! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they will repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider making payments on them with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts using cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already planning to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel and earn miles or points to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards to pay for daily costs. This can include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example, using points to book a flight directly with the airline could offer better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. This can give an access larger range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to track your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re using it in the most efficient method. Utilizing a combination of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.