Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles that can then be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to check your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer various benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be perfect 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 limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to check for the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards delicious getaway! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to virtually every airline. You can combine money and points to pay for 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 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 in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for one flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few point short United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to pool your points together with your family members and 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 like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they’ll pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about paying them off with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already planning to.
There are many ways to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. 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 vacation, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card for daily expenses. This could include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you 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 eating out or travelling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to book a flight directly with the airline could offer better return than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This will give you access to a wider range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn 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 to ensure you’re using this program in the most effective method possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.