Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which can be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little bit of 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 all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking consider the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay 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 to determine which airline offers you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer many features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are excellent to use for hacking 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 have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify this information. From there it’s all about building up miles, and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some nice getaway! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase credit card, then you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? Be careful that if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points short, United provides 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 as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into 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 difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they can pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration making payments on them with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you planning to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most of the travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement and earn points is utilising your credit cards to pay daily costs. This could be items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to 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 prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example, using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This can give you access to a greater selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover if your credit card offers certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, 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 this program in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.