Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which can be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to check the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the most value. All it boils down to is the number of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide many advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If 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 be sure to check for the details. Then, it’s all about racking miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some nice vacation! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full cost, you are able to book flights using 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 flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on the same flight. If you’re just a few points away, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion 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 credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and are 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 with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It may be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they can repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about making payments on them with your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to look into any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts with your credit card. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you planning to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the required amount to earn your credit card bonus, but you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is using your credit card to pay daily expenditures. This could include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give an access greater range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out whether your credit card has certain benefits that will reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re using this program in the most effective method. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.