Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which you can use to obtain discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll 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 allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to look into your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer various benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards excellent 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 hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify this information. From there you can begin to rack up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some nice travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the total cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
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 to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for flights. If you’re only a couple of 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 offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about making payments on them with your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to look into any big expenses coming up that you can help pay 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 your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can hit that minimum spend and be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to get the most from your travel credit card. accrue points or miles to spend on 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, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum spend for your credit card, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for the costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is utilising your credit cards to pay for every day expenses. This could include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could offer better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This gives you access to a greater variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover whether your credit card has certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method possible. By using all of the strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.