Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which can be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost 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 then be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate 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. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to review those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer a variety of benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect for travel hacking:
- 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 get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. Then it’s all about building up miles, and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to use them towards nice getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can combine points and cash to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the total cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points away, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It might be worth it 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 pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they will reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider paying them off with your credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid paying more than you contemplating to.
There are many methods to get the most of your travel credit card and accrue points or miles to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum spend to earn your credit card reward and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on those costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay for every day expenses. This could include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example, using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater return than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This gives you access to a wider range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover if your credit card offers some perks that could reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using this program in the most effective method possible. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.