Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles that can then be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to check your frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer a variety of features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are excellent to hack 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 have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to check for the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards nice getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not 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 with any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful in case you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on the same flight. If you’re just a few points away, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the minimum spend 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 for theirs and they will pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about making payments on them with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts using the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. accrue points or miles to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card reward, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for these expenses.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement and earn points is utilising your credit cards to pay for every day expenses. This could include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. This will give an access wider selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using this program in the most effective method. Through an array of strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.