Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which can be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your desired 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 the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking 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 consider the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced 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 most value. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards with many advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be great to use for hacking travel:
- 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 minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can combine money and points to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any 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 to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars on flights. No worries though, if you’re a few points away, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they will repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider repaying them using your credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to look into any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already planning to.
There are many methods to get the most out of your travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the required amount to earn your credit card and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for those costs.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by using your credit card for everyday expenditures. This could include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example using points to book a ticket directly with the airline could offer better value than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give an access greater variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover whether your credit card has any perks that can help you save money on travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card and make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re using it in the most effective method possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.