Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which can be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to look into the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with various benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few 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 hit the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make certain to verify this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some sweet vacation! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can use a combination of money and points to book your travel. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every 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 of paying using dollars or points? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points for one flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few points away, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. Don’t worry, 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 to pay for your rent using credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they can repay you.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration repaying them using the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts using your credit card. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are many methods to get the most from the travel credit card and earn miles or points to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on the costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending and earn points is making use of your credit card for every day expenses. This can include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater return than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This can give you access to a larger variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should find out whether your credit card has some perks that could help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.