Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which you can use to obtain discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to check the frequent flyer account and determine which airline offers you the most value. It all boils down to the number of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer various features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards great to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. From there it’s all about building up miles, and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve worked with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to virtually every airline. You can use a combination of money and points to book your travel. You can even book completely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for the same flight. If you’re a few point short United gives you the option to purchase 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 more space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
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 credit card bonuses. 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 your rent using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they will reimburse you.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans, consider making payments on them with an credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already planning to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel and accrue points or miles to 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 the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you achieve the required amount to qualify for a credit card reward, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for these costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points using your credit card to pay for everyday costs. This could include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using points to book a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a hotel rewards program. This will give an access greater variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to discover if your credit card offers any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using it in the most effective method possible. By using a combination of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.