Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which you can use to score discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to review your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with many benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be perfect to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make certain to verify the details. Then it’s all about building miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards delicious getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to virtually every airline and you can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your next trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for 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 do not have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re a few points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge 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 may be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up then ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they can repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about repaying them using your credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to see if they have any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using your credit card. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were planning to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most of the travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for the expenditures.
Use your credit card for everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards to pay for daily expenses. This can include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example, using your points to book a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater return than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This will give you access to a wider range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should determine whether your credit card has some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most effective way possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve outlined that you can get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.