Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which you can use to get discounted or even cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little creativity and some insider knowledge, you can 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 as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to look into your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide a variety of advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are 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 card, you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make certain to verify this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards nice getaway! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the providers I have experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the total price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for one flight. If you’re just a few points short, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It might be worth it 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 a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up, ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they can pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider paying them off with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you contemplating to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most out of your travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the required amount for your credit card reward, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on the expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to hit the minimum spend and earn points is using your credit card to pay for every day expenses. This could be things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to book a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a hotel rewards program. This will give you access to a larger variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover whether your credit card has some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.