Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles that can then be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little creativity and some insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles 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 usually better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to look into those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with many benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. Then it’s all about building up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase credit card, then you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can use a combination of money and points to pay for 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 cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for one flight. If you’re just a few points away, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It might be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll repay you.
Repay the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration paying them off with an credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you planning to.
There are many ways to make the most out of the travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card reward as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for those costs.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by using your credit card to pay every day expenditures. This can include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use points to book a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This will give an access larger range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks which are not offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. some perks that could help you save money on travel costs. Many cards offer 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, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most effective method possible. Through 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 benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.