Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which can be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful 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 price is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to look into those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with a variety of features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are excellent to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to look up the details. Then it’s all about building up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points away, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you join 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.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It might be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they’ll repay you.
Repay the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about making payments on them with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts using your credit card. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to make the most out of the travel credit card. earn miles or points to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you achieve the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card reward as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spend to earn rewards is making use of your credit card to pay for daily costs. This could include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from 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 take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example using your points to book a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This can give you access to a larger range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks which are not offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should determine if your credit card offers certain benefits that will reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most efficient way possible. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.