Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which can be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a 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 the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to review those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer many advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect to hack 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 need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards delicious vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t 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 using the credit card of your choice.
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 to pay with dollars or points? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to 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 buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they can reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about making payments on them with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to look into any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to make the most of the travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of the travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles for the expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards to pay daily expenses. This could include items like groceries, gas 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
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This gives you access to a greater range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, find out if your credit card offers certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re using this program in the most effective method possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.