Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which can be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to check your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best deal. It all boils down to the amount 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 hacking travel? The first step is to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards with many benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to check for the details. Then it’s all about building 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 balance, it’s time to cash them in for some 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 worked with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have an Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can combine points and cash to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the full price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for one flight. If you’re a few point short United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you combine 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 into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they will repay you.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about repaying them using an credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were planning to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most of your travel credit card and accrue points or miles to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a 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 earn your credit card reward as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another method to reach the minimum spend and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay every day expenses. This could include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. 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.
Consider 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 the balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using your points to book a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater return than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This will give the benefit of a wider range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that aren’t available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with someone else each of you will be able to get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot 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 making the most of your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using it in the most efficient way possible. By using all of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.