Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little creativity and some insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to review the frequent flyer account and determine which airline offers you the best price. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with a variety of features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are excellent for travel hacking:
- 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 limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be certain to verify this information. Then you can begin to rack miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some delicious vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can use a combination of money and points to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got 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 cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on one flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few point short United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay 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 due, ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they’ll repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider making payments on them with an credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were planning to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel and accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card bonus and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spend to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card for everyday expenses. This could be things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example using your points to book a flight 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 reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give you access to a greater selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should find out if your credit card offers some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with someone else, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.