Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which you can use to obtain discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider 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 over $500, you’ll need to look into your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide a variety of benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be excellent to use for hacking 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 qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to look up this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can combine points and cash to pay for your travel. You can even book completely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the entire cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for the same flight. If you’re only a couple of point short United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be 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 or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret 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 for your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It may be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they’ll reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans, consider paying them off with your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to 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. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you planning to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel and earn miles or points to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is using your credit card to pay daily costs. This could include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For instance using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or hotel rewards program. This can give you access to a wider selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, find out the card’s benefits. some perks that could reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of it in the most efficient way possible. Through an array of methods I’ve described 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.