Are you tired 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 method to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which can be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some information, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. 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. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to review the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards with a variety of features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some 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 or debit card, you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to check for the details. Then it’s all about building miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some delicious vacation! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to virtually every airline. You can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book 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 dollars and points on the same flight. If you’re just a few point short United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It might be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they will reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration 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 accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to look into any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you thinking of.
There are plenty of methods to get the most out of your travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you achieve the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement and earn points is utilising your credit cards to pay daily expenses. This can include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on 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 might offer better value than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or reward program for hotels. This will give an access wider selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, determine whether your credit card has any perks that can help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using this program in the most effective method. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.