Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to review your frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer various features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be certain to verify this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can use a combination of points and cash to book your next trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? 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 on the same flight. If you’re a few point short United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. 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 or my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they’ll repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider making payments on them with your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to look into any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using the credit card you have. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already thinking of.
There are a lot of methods to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum spend to earn your credit card bonus, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum spend in order to accumulate points using your credit card for everyday expenses. This could include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off 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 on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use points to book a ticket directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give you access to a wider variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine if your credit card offers any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of it in the most effective method possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.