Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which you can use to score discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and some information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to review those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is to open a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with many 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 card options that can be perfect to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to check for the details. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious travel! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points on one flight. If you’re only a couple of point short United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. But, 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. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It may be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they’ll pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about repaying them using the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue more 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 contribute for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are many ways to make the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accumulate miles or points that you can spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card reward, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement and earn points is utilising your credit cards to pay for every day costs. This can include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow 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 you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives an access greater range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that may not be available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, determine the card’s benefits. some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using it in the most effective method possible. Through all of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.