Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight 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 higher than $500, it’s best to check your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards 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 minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. From there it’s all about building miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can use a combination of money and points to pay for your trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total 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 full price for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for one flight. No worries though, if you’re a few point short United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Just make sure you can 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 spend for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and are here to share 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! Make sure you pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they’ll reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration making payments on them with an credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already planning to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accrue points or miles to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenses.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement and earn points is utilising your credit cards to pay every day expenditures. This could be things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a reward program for hotels. This gives an access wider variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card, and be sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most effective method possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.