Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which you can use to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider 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 and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to review your frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards with a variety of features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are excellent 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 have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to look up the details. 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 ideas?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some nice getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can use a combination of money and points to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the total price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines which allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they will repay you.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans, consider making payments on them with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to get the most out of your travel credit card. accrue points or miles to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only achieve the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card reward, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on these costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards to pay daily costs. This could be things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, including dining or travel. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, think about transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use your 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 an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give you access to a larger selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to discover the card’s benefits. any perks that can reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to get rewards on your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.