Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles that can then be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
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 pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to look into your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards with various benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards great to hack 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 reach the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be certain to verify this information. From there it’s all about building up miles, and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to use them towards nice getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Getaway by using 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 this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order 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 be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines which allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
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 in order to meet the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there 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 to pay for your rent using credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they’ll pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider paying them off with your credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they understand why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. 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 thinking of.
There are plenty of methods to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accrue points or miles to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum spend for your credit card bonus, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for the expenses.
Use your credit card for everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spend and earn points is by using your credit card to pay for every day expenditures. This could include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, like dining or travel. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on 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 let you pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example you can use points to book a flight directly with the airline could offer better value than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This will give the benefit of a greater selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, find out whether your credit card has certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using this program in the most effective way possible. Through all of the methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.