Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which you can use to score discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to check your frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best price. It all comes down to the number of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide many features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred 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
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make certain to verify this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve worked with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can combine points and cash to pay for your travel. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the total cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking 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 can’t combine dollars and points on one flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of point short United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, 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. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for 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 a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, go for it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they will reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about repaying them using the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts using your credit card. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are a lot of methods to get the most out of the travel credit card and earn miles or points to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only achieve the minimum spend to earn your credit card as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on these expenditures.
Use your credit card for all your daily costs
Another method to reach the minimum spend in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card to pay every day costs. This could include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, like dining or travel. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a ticket directly with the airline might offer better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This can give the benefit of a greater variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to discover if your credit card offers some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a companion each of you will be able to get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method. Utilizing all of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.