Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which can be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and some information, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to check your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer many features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards great 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 need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be certain to verify the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can use a combination of money and points to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars on the same flight. If you’re just a few points short, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they can reimburse you.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration repaying them using an credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you trust the person and they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were planning to.
There are many ways to get the most from the travel credit card and earn miles or points to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only achieve the required amount to earn your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for those expenditures.
Use your credit card for everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards to pay daily expenditures. This can include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For instance using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a wider selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, find out the card’s benefits. any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to track your rewards separately.
The key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.