Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which can be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a bit of 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 all about 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 to pay for hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer various advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be great 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 or debit card, you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. From there it’s all about building up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to use them towards sweet travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have enough balance! 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 in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful, if you do not have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they can reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration paying them off with an credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance 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 big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts using cards from your credit account. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you planning to.
There are many ways to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. accrue points or miles to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use the travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the required amount for your credit card as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement and earn points is using your credit card for every day expenditures. This could be things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could give you a better return than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give the benefit of a wider range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks which are not accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should discover if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a companion, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method. Utilizing an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.