Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which can be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to review the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer various advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards great to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If 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. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to look up the details. Then it’s all about building up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards nice vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can make use of a combination of money and points to book your trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full price, you can 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 your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine points and dollars for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future Ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they can repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration repaying them using the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already planning to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most from your travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use your travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for these expenses.
Use your credit card for everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards to pay for daily expenses. This could be things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, think about transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance, using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them for 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 choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This gives an access wider selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, determine if your credit card offers any perks that can save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most efficient method. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.