Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which can be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for 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 about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to check the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the best price. It all comes down to the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide various advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect for travel hacking:
- 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 credit card has its own set of rules, so be certain to verify this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to use them towards nice vacation! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can combine money and points to pay for your travel. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the full cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points short, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It might be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans, consider paying them off with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to make the most from the travel credit card and accrue points or miles to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum spend to earn your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is utilising your credit cards to pay every day expenditures. This could include things like gas, groceries, 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 points in exchange for specific types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For example using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion 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 freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This can give the benefit of a greater range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out if your credit card offers certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend and both of you 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 your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of it in the most effective method. Utilizing all of the methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.