Are you fed up 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 welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which you can use to get discounted or even cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking your travel plans 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 book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to review those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best price. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards with a variety of features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be great for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make certain to verify this information. From there it’s all about building up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the full price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful, if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are 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 credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually around 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they will reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans, consider repaying them using an credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t end up with 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. 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 the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most of your travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for those expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by using your credit card to pay for everyday expenses. This can include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, like dining or travel. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using points to book a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This can give the benefit of a greater variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, discover if your credit card offers any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve listed that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.