Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which can be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to check your frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all comes down to the number of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide various features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards great to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to use them towards sweet getaway! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, 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 book your flight entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United also offers 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 travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit 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 tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It might be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up then ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they will repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about repaying them using the credit card you have. Make sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already planning to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most from the travel credit card and accrue points or miles to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next 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 to qualify for a credit card reward as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles for the costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card for everyday expenditures. This could include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use your points to book a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a reward program for hotels. This gives you access to a larger variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine the card’s benefits. some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re using it in the most effective method possible. Through an array of methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.