Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles that can then be used to get discounted or even 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 all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to check the frequent flyer account to see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide many features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be 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 spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to check for this information. From there it’s all about building miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet travel! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the 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 even book completely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using 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 can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few point short United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and are 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 with credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they will repay you.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider repaying them using an credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to look into any large expenses coming up which you could help pay 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 you should consider purchasing all your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already contemplating to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most from your travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the required amount to earn your credit card as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles for the costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending and earn points is utilising your credit cards for every day expenses. This could include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review the rewards program of 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 have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spend 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 then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This can give you access to a wider selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, find out if your credit card offers some perks that could help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method. Through an array of strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.