Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which you can use to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and some information, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to check 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
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer various benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards excellent to hack travel
- 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 credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to check for this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some delicious vacation! Different credit card providers 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 with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can combine points and cash to pay for your travel. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full price, you 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 full price for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars for one flight. No worries though, if you’re a few points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing 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 and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3%. It might be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they can pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about paying them off with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and look into any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute 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 in the middle of 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 also be prepared for gift giving. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already thinking of.
There are plenty of methods to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. accrue points or miles to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card reward as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on the expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending and earn points is using your credit card to pay daily expenses. This can include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance, using your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or hotel rewards program. This gives an access larger range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks which are not offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to determine the card’s benefits. some perks that could reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most effective method possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.