Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which you can use to score discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll fly for no cost 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. These miles can then be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to look into those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide many benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are perfect to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to look up this information. From there it’s all about building up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve worked with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your travel. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the full price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. 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 a big one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your family members to pay for theirs and they can reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans, consider paying them off with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to look into any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts using your credit card. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you planning to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can earn miles or points to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of your travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles on the expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by using your credit card to pay everyday expenditures. This can include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example using points to book a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This gives the benefit of a greater variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.