Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which can be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to look into the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with many benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to check for the details. From there you can begin to rack miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet getaway! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to virtually every airline. You can combine points and cash to book your next trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points for flights. No worries though, if you’re a few points away, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future Ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they’ll repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration paying them off with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accumulate miles or points that you can use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to hit the required amount to earn your credit card as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by using your credit card to pay daily expenses. This could be things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card 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 credit card, think about transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This gives the benefit of a larger selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, discover if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards separately.
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 ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing a combination of the methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.