Are you tired of paying 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 convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which you can use to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and some knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to check those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer various benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are 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 limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. Then it’s all about building up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can combine points and cash to book your trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the entire price, you can purchase flights through 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? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points for one flight. No worries though, if you’re a few point short United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines which allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It may be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll repay you.
Repay the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider making payments on them with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already planning to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most from the travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use the travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. Not only will you achieve the required amount for your credit card bonus, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenses.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spend in order to accumulate points using your credit card to pay every day expenses. This could include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example you can use points to book a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This can give the benefit of a larger variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to determine whether your credit card has some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a friend and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most effective method possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.