Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards with a variety of benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards great for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to check for this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve worked with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can even book completely 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 still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars on flights. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points 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 flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there 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 pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up then ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they will repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider repaying them using your credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are plenty of methods to get the most from the travel credit card. earn miles or points to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles on the expenditures.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures. This could include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, including dining or travel. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give you access to a larger variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. any perks that can reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a friend, 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.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of it in the most effective method. Utilizing a combination of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.