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 a fun way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles that can then be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and some information, you’ll be jet-setting 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. These miles can later be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want 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 account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide many advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be perfect 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 have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to use them towards sweet getaway! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your travel. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using either points or dollars? Butbe aware in case you do not have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few point short United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines that allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and we’re 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 using credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover 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 will pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about making payments on them with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and look into any large expenses coming up which you could help pay 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 in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were planning to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accumulate miles or points that you can spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by utilising your credit cards to pay daily expenses. This can include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that align 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, consider transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to book a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give you access to a wider selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient way possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.