Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which can be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to look into the frequent flyer account and determine which airline offers you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer various features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards perfect to use for hacking 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 have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify the details. From there, it’s all about racking miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your next trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few point short United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important 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 percent. It might be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they can reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration making payments on them with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to make the most from using your credit or debit card for travel and accumulate miles or points that you can use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional 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 for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card bonus, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those costs.
Use your credit card for everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by using your credit card to pay daily costs. This could be things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, including dining or travel. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
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 an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This can give the benefit of a greater variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should determine whether your credit card has some perks that could help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most effective method possible. By using all of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.