Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually 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 review the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide a variety of benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are great 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 need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. From there you can begin to rack up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can make use of a combination of money and points to book your next trip. You can even book completely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on one flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few points short, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature where you can pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending 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 an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future Ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they can reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans, consider paying them off with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you thinking of.
There are plenty of methods to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel and accrue points or miles to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spend and earn points is by utilising your credit cards for every day expenditures. This could be things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, like dining or travel. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. 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 provide you with a greater return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This can give an access larger variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, find out whether your credit card has some perks that could help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing 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. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.