Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way 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 little bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to check those frequent flyer accounts and 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.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer many features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are perfect to hack 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 credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you tired 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 using dollars or points? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points on flights. If you’re only a couple of point short United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines which allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can combine your points with your family members and earn 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, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it 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 to pay for your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they can repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider repaying them using an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using your credit card. This way you can hit that minimum spend and be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already planning to.
There are many ways to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accumulate miles or points that you can use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll achieve the required amount for your credit card and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by utilising your credit cards to pay for every day expenses. This could include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, like dining or travel. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the 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 you use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance using your points to book a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. This can give an access larger range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that aren’t offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should determine the card’s benefits. any perks that can save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.