Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little bit of 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 trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to look into those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best price. It all comes down to the number of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with many features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet getaway! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your trip. You can even book completely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the full cost, you are able to 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 full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful, if you do not have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars on flights. If you’re just a few points away, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share some of 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! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they can pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider making payments on them with an credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with your credit card. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are many ways to get the most out of the travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card reward, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenses.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenses
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is making use of your credit card for every day expenditures. This can include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example using points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a hotel rewards program. This will give an access larger range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a friend and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most effective method possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve listed that you can get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.