Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which can be used to score discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to check those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with many features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are excellent to use for hacking 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 get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to check for this information. From there it’s all about building miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. 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 price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for the same flight. If you’re a few point short United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re 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 using a credit card, do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It could be worthwhile 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 required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future Ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they will pay you back.
Repay the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about paying them off with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using the credit card you have. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already planning to.
There are many ways to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accumulate miles or points that you can use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only achieve the required amount to earn your credit card and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for these expenditures.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards to pay for everyday costs. This can include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, think about transferring the balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example, using points to book a ticket directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give an access larger selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be available through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should find out if your credit card offers some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most effective method possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.