Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which can be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret 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 it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to check your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best price. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer a variety of benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to check for this information. From there it’s all about building up miles, and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can make use of a combination of 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 possess enough points for the full cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine points and dollars for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re a few points away, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they’ll repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about paying them off with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute 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 in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can hit that minimum spend and be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most from your travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use you travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card bonus as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on those costs.
Use your credit card for all your daily costs
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by using your credit card to pay every day costs. This can include 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 accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them for 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 allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give an access greater variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should find out if your credit card offers any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using this program in the most efficient method possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.