Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which can be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll 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 then be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes 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 use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to look into the frequent flyer account and determine which airline offers you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards with a variety of features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are perfect 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 spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify the details. From there it’s all about building up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice vacation! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to virtually every airline. You can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? Be careful in case you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few point short United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. 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, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they will pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans, consider paying them off with your credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and look into any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are many ways to make the most of using your credit or debit card for travel and accumulate miles or points that you can use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use you travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you achieve the required amount to qualify for a credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles on those costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by making use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses. This can include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, including dining or travel. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase 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 get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give you access to a wider variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to find out if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using it in the most efficient method possible. Through an array of methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.