Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking can 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 bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also let you 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 a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to look into those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best price. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with a variety of advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be great to hack 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 spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to look up this information. From there it’s all about building up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some nice vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to virtually every airline and you can use a combination of points and cash to book your next trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the entire price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points on the same flight. If you’re just a few point short United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually about 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they can pay you back.
Repay 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 more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you thinking of.
There are many ways to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. accumulate miles or points that you can use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the required amount for your credit card reward and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards to pay everyday expenditures. This can include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For instance using your points to book a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will let you have a wider range of options and greater flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This can give the benefit of a larger selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, determine whether your credit card has certain benefits that will reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most effective way possible. By using a combination of the 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 variety of travel benefits.