Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which can be used to score discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to check those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the most value. It all boils down to the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards with many benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most essential 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
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make certain to verify this information. From there you can begin to rack up miles and then 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, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve worked with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline. You can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you do not have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re a few points away, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
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 minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and are here to share some of 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, go for it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future Ask your family members to pay for theirs and they will pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about paying them off with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you contemplating to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most from your travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can spend on 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
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only achieve the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on the expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card to pay for everyday costs. This could include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For instance using points to book a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This gives an access wider selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, determine whether your credit card has some perks that could reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re using this program in the most efficient method. Through an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.