Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which you can use to score discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight consider the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to review the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer various advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card, you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to look up the details. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards nice travel! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to virtually every airline. You can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your travel. You can even book entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the entire price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? But, be careful in case you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on flights. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can pool your points together with family members to accrue 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 You’re probably quite economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due then ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they can repay you.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider repaying them using the credit card you have. 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
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be prepared to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you thinking of.
There are many ways to make the most out of your travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use you travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only achieve the required amount to earn your credit card bonus and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by using your credit card for daily costs. This could include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, including dining or travel. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For example using your points to book a ticket directly through the airline may provide you with a greater return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a reward program for hotels. This can give an access greater range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks which are not accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, discover whether your credit card has any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a friend, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.