Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which you can use to get discounted or even free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and some knowledge, you can travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards with various advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are excellent to hack travel
- 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 reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to look up this information. From there it’s all about building miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards sweet travel! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to virtually every airline. You can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the entire cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points on one flight. No worries though, if you’re a few points away, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they will pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about paying them off with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can hit that minimum spend and be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are a lot of methods to get the most out of the travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only achieve the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card reward, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on those costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards to pay for every day expenses. This could include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Make sure you 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 bonus points for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration 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 transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may give you a better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This can give an access wider variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, determine the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using this program in the most efficient method possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.