Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which you can use to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to review your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with various advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect for travel hacking:
- 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 spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make certain to verify this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can combine money and points to book your travel. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans, consider making payments on them with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you planning to.
There are many ways to make the most out of your travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only achieve the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card bonus, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on these costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spend in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards to pay daily expenses. This could be things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, such as dining or travel. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, consider transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using points to book a flight directly with the airline might 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 points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give an access wider selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should discover whether your credit card has some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using it in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.