Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which you can use to get discounted or even cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to look into the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the best price. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards with many features and benefits. 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 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 need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to look up this information. From there it’s all about building miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll have access to virtually every airline, and you can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your travel. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the full price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful in case you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for one flight. No worries 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 flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines which allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. 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 like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done 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 for your rent with a credit card, do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they can reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration making payments on them with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using your credit card. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to get the most out of your travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you achieve the required amount for your credit card reward, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is making use of your credit card for daily expenditures. This could be items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, like dining or travel. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you 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 wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points 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 example, using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might give you a better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives the benefit of a wider selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, find out whether your credit card has some perks that could help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a companion, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.