Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which can be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, 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 later be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful 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 it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to check those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide various benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some 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 reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. From there it’s all about building up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some nice vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can make use of a combination of money and points to book your next trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire cost, you still can 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 dollars or points? Be careful that if you do not have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points short, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it 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 pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It might be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they will repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider paying them off with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any large 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 know why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using your credit card. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you planning to.
There are many ways to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accrue points or miles to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you achieve the required amount to earn your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover the expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card to pay everyday costs. This could include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could give you a better return than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives you access to a greater variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should discover if your credit card offers certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.