Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles that can then be used to score discounted or free flights to 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 all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to check your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with many features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial 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 card, you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. From there you can begin to rack miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards sweet getaway! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can use a combination of money and points to book your travel. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful in case you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on one flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few point short United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique 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 into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried 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 to pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they will reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider making payments on them with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you trust the person and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can hit that minimum spend and be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can earn miles or points to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the required amount for your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles on these costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards to pay for every day costs. This could include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider 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 a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial 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 worth of various redemption options. For example using points to book a ticket directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This gives you access to a wider variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, determine the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re using this program in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.