Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles that can then be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to look into those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide a variety of benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards 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 limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to look up this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on one flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they can reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider making payments on them with an credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accumulate miles or points that you can spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the required amount for your credit card and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on these costs.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spend to earn rewards is by using your credit card to pay daily expenses. This could include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. 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 eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This will give an access wider range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that may not be offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, find out whether your credit card has certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide 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 each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using it in the most efficient way possible. Through all of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.