Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which you can use to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little imagination and some knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to review the frequent flyer account and determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with various benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards excellent 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 have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to check for this information. From there it’s all about building up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, it’s time to use them towards sweet getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have an Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to virtually every airline and you can make use of a combination of money and points to book your trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on one flight. If you’re just a few points short, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It might be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future Ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they will pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration making payments on them with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card completely 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. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you thinking of.
There are plenty of methods to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel and earn miles or points to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card for everyday expenses. This could be things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
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 transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to 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 instance using your points to book a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This gives an access greater range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should find out if your credit card offers certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method. By using all of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.