Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which can be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to look into those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer many benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are 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 card you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some nice getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve worked with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to virtually every airline, and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the total cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines which allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually about 3%. It may be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they’ll pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about repaying them using an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re 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 take into consideration buying all your gifts using your credit card. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for gift giving. Be sure to avoid paying more than you contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most of using your credit or debit card for travel and accumulate miles or points that you can use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card reward, but you’ll also earn points or miles for the expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spend and earn points is by making use of your credit card for every day expenditures. This could be things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example, using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This will give you access to a wider range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. any perks that can save you money on travel-related expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method. By using all of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.