Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which can be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to look into the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the best price. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer a variety of benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are great for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to look up the details. From there, it’s all about racking miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to virtually every airline. You can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your travel. 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 are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
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 to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on the same flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of point short United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to 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 thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
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 pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It might be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they will repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider repaying them using your credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and look into 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 this.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with your credit card. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already planning to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most of your travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to hit the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card to pay for daily expenditures. This could include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This gives the benefit of a larger variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should determine whether your credit card has some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance, 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 earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card and make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most efficient method possible. Through a combination 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.