Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which you can use to get discounted or even cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little creativity and some insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to look into those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that provide various advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be perfect to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to check for the details. Then it’s all about building up miles, and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine points and dollars for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re a few point short United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, but 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 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 and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. 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 spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they will repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration making payments on them with an credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they understand why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with your credit card. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most out of the travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these costs.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay for daily costs. This could be items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a ticket directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase 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 options and greater freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This gives an access greater variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, determine if your credit card offers any perks that can help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using it in the most efficient way possible. By using all of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.