Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which you can use to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider 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. These miles can then be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to check those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide various advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few 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 qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to look up the details. Then, it’s all about racking miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to use them towards delicious travel! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can use a combination of money and points to pay for your travel. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for one flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few point short United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. 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 pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It might be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they will reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider paying them off with an credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts using your credit card. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of your travel credit card. accrue points or miles to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the required amount for your credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the costs.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards to pay every day expenditures. This can include things like gas, groceries or even your phone 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 miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a reward program for hotels. This gives you access to a greater range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover if your credit card offers some perks that could reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most effective method possible. Through an array of strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.