Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which can be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and some information, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s generally better to pay 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 the frequent flyer account to see which airline can give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn 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 provide many advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards great to hack travel
- 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 have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to check for the details. Then, it’s all about racking miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Take a trip 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. Within it, you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine points and dollars on the same flight. No worries though, if you’re a few points away, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make 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 buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up then ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they will repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans, consider making payments on them with your credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts using the credit card you have. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were planning to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most from the travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising 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 hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum spend to earn your credit card bonus as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenses.
Use your credit card for everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spend and earn points is using your credit card to pay for everyday costs. This could be things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, like dining or travel. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. This can give the benefit of a greater range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks which are not offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, determine if your credit card offers certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with someone else and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to track your rewards separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most efficient method possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.