Are you tired of paying 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 method to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which you can use to score discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a bit of creativity and some 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 incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to look into those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer various features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some 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 card you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. Then it’s all about building miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards delicious vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the companies I have experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your travel. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the 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 tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret 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 huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your family members to pay for theirs and they can repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans, consider making payments on them with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and look into any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person 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 your gifts using cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most from using your credit or debit card for travel and accumulate miles or points that you can spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll achieve the required amount to earn your credit card bonus as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by using your credit card for everyday expenses. This could include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example you can use points to book a ticket directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This can give the benefit of a wider variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should discover the card’s benefits. 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 can be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card and make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most effective method possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.