Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll 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. The miles can be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles to pay for 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 frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight consider the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to check those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with various features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect 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 reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some delicious vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points for one flight. If you’re just a few point short United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it 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 a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It may be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they’ll pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about repaying them using your 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
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to make the most out of your travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card reward, but you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by using your credit card for daily expenses. This could include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, including dining or travel. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a 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 allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example using your 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 an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This can give an access larger selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine whether your credit card has some perks that could help you save money on travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a companion, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t 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 maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient 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 enjoy a wide range of travel perks.