Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles that can then be used to get discounted or even free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to check the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the best price. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide various advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards great for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make certain to verify this information. Then it’s all about building up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve worked with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can use a combination of money and points to pay for your travel. You can even book 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 full price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful in case you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for flights. If you’re just a few points short, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can join your points 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.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried 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 pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they will repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about making payments on them with an credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were planning to.
There are many ways to make the most from your travel credit card and earn miles or points to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover the expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is using your credit card to pay everyday expenses. This can include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, including dining or travel. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow 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.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example, using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This will give the benefit of a larger variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most effective way possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.