Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little imagination and some knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking 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 book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s usually better 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 check the frequent flyer account and determine which airline offers you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with a variety of benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be great 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 hit the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. From there it’s all about building miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards delicious getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can even book completely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
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 either points or dollars? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars on one flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few points away, United also offers the option to purchase 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 similar to that of United Airlines that allows passengers to book flights using 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. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they can repay you.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans, consider paying them off with an credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can 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 it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. accumulate miles or points that you can use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional 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 book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the required amount for your credit card as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover the expenditures.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards to pay for every day costs. This could include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, like 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 habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using points to book a ticket directly through the airline may offer better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This can give you access to a larger variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t available through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should discover the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
The key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient way possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.