Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles that can then be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little creativity and some insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to look into the frequent flyer account to see which airline can give you the best price. It all comes down to the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that offer various benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be certain to verify the details. Then you can begin to rack miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to use them towards delicious getaway! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can make use of a combination of money and points to book your next trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using 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 can choose the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few point short United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they can repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about repaying them using an credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already planning to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most from your travel credit card and accrue points or miles to be used 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
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you achieve the required amount for your credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenses.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by using your credit card to pay for everyday expenses. This could include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using your points to book a ticket directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow 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 rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give the benefit of a greater selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should discover whether your credit card has any perks that can help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to track your rewards separately.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re using it in the most effective way possible. Through an array of strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.