Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which can be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little imagination and some know-how, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to review the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the best price. It all boils down to the number of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with various advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are great to use for hacking 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 qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards nice travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of 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 points and cash to pay for your travel. You can even book entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the full price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars on the same flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few points short, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. 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 a huge one! If you’re able 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 in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they will pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration repaying them using an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to look into any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they understand why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most of your travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for the costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spend in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card to pay every day expenses. This can include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a reward program for hotels. This can give an access wider selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine the card’s benefits. some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing 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.