Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which can be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to check those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the most value. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer a variety of advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be perfect to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. From there it’s all about building up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can combine money and points to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking 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 on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share some of 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, go for it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they’ll repay you.
Repay the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration paying them off with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got 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 it.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for gift giving. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to get the most from the travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover those costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by utilising your credit cards for everyday expenditures. This could be items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow 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 capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a greater range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that aren’t accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to find out the card’s benefits. any perks that can save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re using this program in the most effective way possible. Utilizing a combination of the methods I’ve described that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.