Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which you can use to obtain discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a little 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 about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to check your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best price. It all boils down to the number of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards with a variety of advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet travel! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can combine money and points to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? Be careful in case you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for flights. If you’re just a few points short, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they can reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about repaying them using the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using cards from your credit account. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to get the most from your travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum spend for your credit card as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on these costs.
Use your credit card for all your daily costs
Another way to hit the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by using your credit card to pay for daily expenses. This can include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn 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 value of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might offer better value than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This can give an access larger range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that may not be available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover whether your credit card has any perks that can reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer 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 a companion and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method. Through an array of strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.