Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which can be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and some information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to check your frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best price. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide a variety of benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards excellent 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 or debit card, you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, 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 set sail with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, it’s time to use them towards nice getaway! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase credit card, then 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. You can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can even book completely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on flights. If you’re just a few points away, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and are 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 with a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about paying them off with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are many methods to get the most from your travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles on the expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is making use of your credit card to pay for everyday costs. This could be things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use your points to book a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This can give an access greater range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, find out if your credit card offers certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with someone else and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method. By using an array of strategies I’ve outlined that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.