Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and some knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally 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 to find out which airline will give you the best price. It all comes down to the number of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide various advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are important 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 need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to check for this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some nice travel! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can use a combination of money and points to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the full cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on the same flight. If you’re just a few point short United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines which allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3%. 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 spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they will reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider making payments on them with your credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already thinking of.
There are many methods to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel and earn miles or points to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for those expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spend and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay everyday expenses. This could be things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use points to book a ticket directly through the airline may offer better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This can give an access wider selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover the card’s benefits. some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.