Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to review those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. 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 ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer many advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to check for the details. Then, it’s all about racking miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some nice vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your travel. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for one flight. If you’re just a few points away, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend 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 for your rent using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It may be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they can repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider paying them off with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and look into 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 you should consider purchasing all your gifts using your credit card. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are many methods to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel and accrue points or miles to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of the travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum spend for your credit card reward and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spend and earn points is by making use of your credit card to pay for daily expenses. This can include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use points to book a ticket directly with the airline might offer better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This will give you access to a larger range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that aren’t available through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should discover whether your credit card has certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most effective way possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.