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 sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles that can then be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
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 to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to look into your frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best price. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide many advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most essential 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
If 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 credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to check for the details. Then it’s all about building up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice getaway! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are a few examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can make use of a combination of money and points to book your next trip. You can even book completely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the total cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using dollars or points? But, be careful that if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on flights. If you’re just a few point short United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they will reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider paying them off with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already planning to.
There are many ways to make the most of your travel credit card. accrue points or miles to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only achieve the minimum spend to earn your credit card and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards to pay for daily expenses. This could be things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion 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 flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. 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.
In addition, you should determine whether your credit card has any perks that can reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with someone else and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.