Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which you can use to obtain discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
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 a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to look into the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that provide a variety of benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are 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 or debit card, you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. Then, it’s all about racking miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can use a combination of money and points to pay for your next trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the full cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on flights. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines which allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before 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 quite thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end 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 cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider paying them off with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any big 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 are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts with your credit card. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be prepared to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already planning to.
There are many methods to get the most of your travel credit card. earn miles or points to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ways to maximize 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 hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum spend to earn your credit card, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those expenses.
Use your credit card for all your daily costs
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards to pay daily costs. This can include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance using points to book a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This will give you access to a larger range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, find out if your credit card offers any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with someone else and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most effective method possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.