Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which you can use to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to look into your frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards with a variety of features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to look up this information. Then, it’s all about racking miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards sweet getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the full cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book 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 aren’t able to combine points and dollars for the same flight. If you’re only a couple of point short United provides 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 flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they can repay you.
Repay the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider making payments on them with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they understand why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel and earn miles or points to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for those costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card to pay every day costs. This could be items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, think about transferring the balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance using points to book a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. This will give the benefit of a wider selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover whether your credit card has certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card and make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using this program in the most effective method. Through an array of methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.