Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? 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 airline miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and some information, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking 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 make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to look into your frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards with a variety of benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are crucial 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
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make certain to verify the details. From there it’s all about building miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some delicious travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can use a combination of money and points to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the total cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine points and dollars on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just 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 flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done 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 with credit card, go for it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It may be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future Ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they will reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration making payments on them with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already planning to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most from your travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum spend to earn your credit card reward, but you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenditures.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spend and earn points is by using your credit card for every day expenditures. This could be items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, think about 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 simultaneously help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For example, using points to book a flight directly through the airline may offer better return than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This gives an access wider selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, determine the card’s benefits. any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, 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 it in the most efficient method possible. Through all of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.