Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles that can then be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll 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. The miles can be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking your travel plans 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 make a booking consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to check the frequent flyer account and determine which airline offers you the best price. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer various features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be great for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to receive 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 then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge 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%. It may be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they can pay you back.
Repay the loan
If you have any loans, consider paying them off with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using your credit card. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you thinking of.
There are many ways to make the most out of the travel credit card. accrue points or miles to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the required amount for your credit card as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card for daily expenditures. This could include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a reward program for hotels. This will give an access wider selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to find out if your credit card offers some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most efficient way possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.