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 bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which can be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little creativity and some insider information, you’ll travel 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 rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to review the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide many advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards 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 or debit card, you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. Then, it’s all about racking miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious travel! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to virtually every airline, and you can use a combination of money and points to book your next trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using dollars or points? Be careful in case you do not 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 point short United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they’ll repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans, consider repaying them using your credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts using your credit card. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most from the travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on these costs.
Use your credit card for everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards to pay for everyday expenditures. This can include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, like dining or travel. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example using your points to book a ticket directly through the airline may offer better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This can give you access to a greater variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, find out if your credit card offers certain benefits that will reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re using it in the most efficient method. Through an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.