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 sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles that can then be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to look into the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with a variety of advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to look up the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, it’s time to use them towards sweet getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the providers I have experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to virtually every airline and you can combine money and points to book your next trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for one flight. If you’re a few point short United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you 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.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they can reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration paying them off with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you thinking of.
There are a lot of methods to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel and earn miles or points to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to hit the required amount to earn your credit card, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover those costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spend and earn points is by using your credit card to pay for daily expenses. This can include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off 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 on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This will give an access larger variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, determine if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most efficient way possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.