Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles that can then be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to check the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer many benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards great 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 have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be certain to verify this information. Then it’s all about building up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can use a combination of points and cash to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the full cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
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? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine points and dollars on one flight. If you’re only a couple of point short United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your family members to pay for theirs and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about making payments on them with your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
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 also be prepared for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already planning to.
There are many ways to make the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accumulate miles or points that you can spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for the expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards for daily expenses. This could include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds 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 high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use points to book a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or hotel rewards program. This can give the benefit of a wider selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, determine whether your credit card has any perks that can reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most effective method possible. By using all of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.