Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which you can use to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little imagination and some knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to check the frequent flyer account to see which airline can give you the most value. It all boils down to the number of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards with a variety of advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make certain to verify the details. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some sweet vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can combine money and points to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the entire cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up 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 with dollars or points? But, be careful, if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for one flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few point short United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to pool your points together with family members to accrue 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 like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and we’re 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 credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It may be worth it in the end if the bonus is high 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 due, ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they can reimburse you.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans, consider repaying them using the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and look into any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already planning to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the required amount for your credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenses.
Use your credit card for everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards to pay for every day costs. This could be things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
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 transfers. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example, using points to book a ticket directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This gives an access wider variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out whether your credit card has certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a companion and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most effective method. By using all of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.