Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which you can use to score discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
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 to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to check your frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the most value. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer various features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be great to hack 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 reach the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your travel. You can even book entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the full price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every 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 dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you do not have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for one flight. If you’re a few points short, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It may be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they can repay you.
Repay the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration making payments on them with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to make the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll achieve the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for these costs.
Use your credit card for everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spend and earn points is making use of your credit card for everyday costs. This could be things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, including dining or travel. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in 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 enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This will give the benefit of a larger selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover if your credit card offers any perks that can save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a friend and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re using it in the most effective method. Through all of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.