Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which can be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can 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 and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to look into those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer many features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards great to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. From there it’s all about building up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious travel! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an 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 virtually every airline, and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order 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 have enough points to cover the entire cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they will repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration making payments on them with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already contemplating to.
There are many methods to get the most of the travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next 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 meet the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on these expenditures.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spend and earn points is by utilising your credit cards for everyday expenditures. This could be things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn 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 the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This gives an access greater range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out whether your credit card has certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient way possible. By using an array of methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.