Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to look into those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with various features and benefits. 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 cards great 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 need to hit 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. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the ones I have experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for flights. If you’re only a couple of point short United gives you 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 more legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines which allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Hit 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 reach the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. But don’t fret, 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 an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they will reimburse you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about paying them off with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and see if they have any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are many methods to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel and earn miles or points to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for these expenses.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards to pay every day expenditures. This could be things like food, gas, and 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
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, including dining or travel. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example using your points to book a ticket directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This can give the benefit of a larger range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should determine whether your credit card has some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.