Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which you can use to get discounted or even free flights to your dream destinations. With a little imagination and some information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to review your frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide a variety of benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be great to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make certain to verify this information. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some nice vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve worked with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for flights. No worries though, if you’re a few points short, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? 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 United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It may be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future Ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they can repay you.
Repay the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about paying them off with your credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and look into any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were thinking of.
There are plenty of methods to get the most of your travel credit card and earn miles or points to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum spend for your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is utilising your credit cards to pay for every day costs. This can include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points 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 match with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could give you a better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This gives an access greater range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, determine if your credit card offers certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most effective way possible. Utilizing a combination of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.