Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking consider the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to review those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the most value. It all comes down to the number of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with a variety of benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards great 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 need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to look up the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious vacation! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can combine points and cash to book your next trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? 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 just a few points short, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines which allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature where you can combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re 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 a credit card, do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they’ll pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration repaying them using your credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and look into any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Just make sure you trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to get the most from your travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only achieve the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for the expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by using your credit card to pay every day costs. This can include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to 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 points in exchange for certain types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This can give an access greater variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine if your credit card offers 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.
If you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card and make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most efficient method possible. Through an array of strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.