Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
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. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to review your 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 you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer a variety of advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are excellent 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 have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. Then you can begin to rack miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can use a combination of money and points to book your travel. 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 price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware in case you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on flights. If you’re a few points short, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. 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 pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually around 3%. It may be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they will repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about paying them off with the credit card you have. 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
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with your credit card. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you contemplating to.
There are many methods to get the most from your travel credit card. accrue points or miles to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is making use of your credit card to pay for daily costs. This could include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using points to book a ticket directly with the airline might provide you with a greater return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This can give you access to a larger variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should determine the card’s benefits. some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure you 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 travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.