Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to review your frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be perfect to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of point short United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Make sure to 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 buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it 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 with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future Ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they can pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration 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
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any large 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 taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you thinking of.
There are many methods to get the most out 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 a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to meet the required amount to earn your credit card bonus as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards to pay daily expenses. This could be things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Just make 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 bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, including dining or travel. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance using your points to book a ticket directly through the airline may provide you with a greater return than using them for an 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 options and greater flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. This gives the benefit of a greater range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that may not be available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most efficient way possible. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.