Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which you can use to get discounted or even cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and some information, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to look into the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide a variety of advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are excellent to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to look up the details. Then, it’s all about racking miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice travel! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline. You can combine money and points to pay for your trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the total 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 the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points on flights. If you’re only a couple of points away, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they’ll reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration paying them off with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and look into any big expenses coming up 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 doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts using the credit card you have. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be prepared to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are many ways to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel and accrue points or miles to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenses.
Use your credit card for everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards to pay for daily expenditures. This could be things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you 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 bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to 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 transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This can give you access to a greater range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, find out whether your credit card has certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, 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 make sure you’re using it in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve listed that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.