Are you tired of spending 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 method to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which can be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and some information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking consider the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to look into the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide various advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be 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 card you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to check for this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some nice travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your travel. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on flights. If you’re only a couple of points short, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there 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 to pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your family members to pay for theirs and they will reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about repaying them using an credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using the credit card you have. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to make the most from your travel credit card. 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:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the expenditures.
Use your credit card for everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards to pay every day expenses. This can include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This can give the benefit of a wider range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that aren’t accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should discover whether your credit card has any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a friend and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined 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 variety of travel benefits.