Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which you can use to obtain discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide many features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards perfect to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your 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 buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in 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 have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful, if you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points away, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done 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 your rent with credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet 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 will pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration making payments on them with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can 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 take into consideration buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were planning to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most of the travel credit card and accrue points or miles to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card reward as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenses.
Use your credit card for everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card to pay for daily costs. This could be things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make 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 points in exchange for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about 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 the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using points to book a ticket directly with the airline might offer better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a greater variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to determine the card’s benefits. some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to track your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using this program in the most effective method possible. Utilizing all of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.