Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which can be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking 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 take a look at the price. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to review your frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide a variety of benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make certain to verify this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some sweet getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to virtually every airline. You can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can even book completely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful in case you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be 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 and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
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 the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts with your credit card. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be prepared to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most from your travel credit card and earn miles or points to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures. This can include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using points to book a ticket directly with the airline could offer better value than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This can give the benefit of a larger variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t available through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. some perks that could help you save money on travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most efficient method possible. Through a combination of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.