Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little imagination and some knowledge, you can travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight consider the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to look into the frequent flyer account and determine which airline offers you the best price. It all boils down to the number of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide a variety of features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are excellent to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to look up the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your next trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few point short United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they will repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about repaying them using the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they know why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using your credit card. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel and accrue points or miles to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll achieve the required amount to earn your credit card bonus as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenses.
Use your credit card for all your daily costs
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is by using your credit card to pay for daily expenses. This could include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example 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 tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This will give you access to a greater selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should discover whether your credit card has some perks that could help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method possible. Through an array of strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.