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 convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which can be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to 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 you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to review those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards with a variety of features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some 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 reach the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be certain to verify this information. Then you can begin to rack 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 the points balance, it’s time to use them towards delicious travel! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, 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 book your travel. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful, if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on one flight. If you’re just a few points short, 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 passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which 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 that lets you join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are 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 your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It might be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they can reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about paying them off with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were thinking of.
There are a lot of methods to get the most from the travel credit card and accrue points or miles to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum spend to earn your credit card, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on these expenses.
Use your credit card for everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points using your credit card to pay every day costs. This could be items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to 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, and also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using points to book a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give an access wider selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should find out if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
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 be sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using this program in the most effective way possible. By using all of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.