Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles that can then be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little bit of 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 exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to review those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide many benefits and features. 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 cards excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some nice travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an 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 make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the entire cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for flights. If you’re a few points short, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay 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 coming up Ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they will pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about repaying them using your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you 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, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most from the travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card to pay for 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, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is using your credit card to pay everyday expenditures. This can include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer 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 debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use points to book a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This gives an access wider selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine the card’s benefits. some perks that could help you save money on travel expenses. Many 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 someone else, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most efficient method possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.