Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to obtain discounted or 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 trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to look into the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the most value. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer many benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are perfect to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify the details. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some nice travel! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can combine points and cash to pay for your next trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the total price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you tired 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? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine points and dollars for flights. No worries though, if you’re a few points short, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It might be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they can reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider 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 end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using your credit card. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to make the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card to pay daily expenditures. This can include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Take into consideration 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 debts without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This gives you access to a greater selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should discover if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re using this program in the most effective way possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.