Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which can be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to review your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with many benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few 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 have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to check for the details. From there it’s all about building up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you are able to book flights using the 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 not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on one flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they will repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about repaying them using an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can help pay 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 you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts using cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you planning to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most of the travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card reward as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum spend in order to accumulate points using your credit card to pay for daily expenses. This can include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer 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 amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example using points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This can give the benefit of a greater selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t available through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should discover whether your credit card has some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a friend and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card and make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most effective way possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.