Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which can be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to review your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the most value. It all boils down to the number of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer a variety of benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are great to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make certain to verify the details. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can make use of a combination of money and points to book your trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and we’re 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 credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they can repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider repaying them using an credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to see if they have any major expenses in the near future 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 know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already planning to.
There are many ways to get the most out of your travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only achieve the minimum spend for your credit card reward, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenses.
Use your credit card for everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay everyday expenses. This can include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds 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 align with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use points to book a flight directly with the airline could offer better value than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a larger variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover whether your credit card has some perks that could reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a companion and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re using this program in the most effective method. Through all of the strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.