Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which you can use to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to check those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best price. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with many benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, 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 to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to check for the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your travel. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful, if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points short, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty 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 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 to pay for your rent with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It may be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they can repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration paying them off with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel and accrue points or miles to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to meet the required amount to earn your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover the expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay every day expenses. This could include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For example using your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or reward program for hotels. This can give an access larger selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should find out if your credit card offers some perks that could help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a friend and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using this program in the most efficient method possible. By using all of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.