Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which you can use to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little imagination and some knowledge, you can 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 and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to review those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that offer many advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be perfect for travel hacking:
- 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 have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to look up the details. From there, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to plan your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some nice travel! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can even book completely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the total cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying using either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if 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 also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
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 hit the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and are here to share some of 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, then do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually about 3%. It might be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they can repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider repaying them using the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and look into any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you thinking of.
There are many ways to make the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel and accrue points or miles to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you achieve the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spend to earn rewards is 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 in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example using points to book a ticket directly through the airline may give you a better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get 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 capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a reward program for hotels. This can give an access larger selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to find out the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a friend each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most efficient method. By using an array of methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.