Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to score discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a little imagination and some information, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out 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 cost is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to look into those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer a variety of benefits and features. It is all dependent on the 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 perfect to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit 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 the details. Then you can begin to rack miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve worked with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your travel. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up then ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they can pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration making payments on them with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can hit that minimum spend and be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to make the most from the travel credit card. earn miles or points to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on those costs.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards to pay everyday expenditures. This could be items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, including dining or travel. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them for 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 get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or reward program for hotels. This gives the benefit of a greater range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover if your credit card offers certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with someone else, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient way possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.