Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which can be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to look into the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the best price. It all comes down to the number of miles or points in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that provide a variety of advantages 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 some credit card options that can be perfect to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. Then it’s all about building miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to use them towards delicious travel! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve worked with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your travel. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
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 of paying using either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points away, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to 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.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. 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 huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually about 3%. It might be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they can repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans, consider paying them off with your 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 family members for assistance
Talk to your family and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they know why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you thinking of.
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 your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. Not only will you achieve the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the costs.
Use your credit card for everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points using your credit card for daily expenditures. This could be items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, including dining or travel. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when redeeming 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 will give the benefit of a wider variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should determine whether your credit card has some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards using 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 understand the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most effective method. Utilizing all of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.