Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to review the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the best price. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards with many features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are great to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be certain to verify this information. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some delicious travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any 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 to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on one flight. If you’re just a few points away, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they can repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider paying them off with your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are many ways to make the most of the travel credit card and earn miles or points to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum spend for your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those expenses.
Use your credit card for everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by using your credit card to pay for daily costs. This can include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using points to book a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or reward program for hotels. This gives you access to a wider selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related 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 a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.