Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which you can use to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and some information, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to review your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best price. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer many benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are excellent to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to use them towards delicious getaway! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline. You can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! 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 every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few point short United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be 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 pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they’ll pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider repaying them using an credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already planning to.
There are many methods to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can earn miles or points to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use the travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only achieve the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card bonus, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spend to earn rewards is using your credit card to pay daily costs. This could be things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could offer 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 choices and more flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This can give you access to a larger selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when 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 split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards separately.
The key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most effective method. Through an array of strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.