Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which you can use to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best to pay 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 look into the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer many benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards excellent to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make certain to verify this information. From there it’s all about building up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to use them towards delicious getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the full cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you join your points 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 into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It may be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they’ll repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider making payments on them with an credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. 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 already planning to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accrue points or miles to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the required amount to earn your credit card bonus, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spend to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards to pay daily expenses. This could be things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example using your points to book a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater return than using them for 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 enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in 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 will give an access greater range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks which are not offered 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. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.