Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which you can use to score discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans 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 book a flight consider the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to check your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all boils down to the number of miles or points in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect for travel hacking:
- 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 hit 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. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the full cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars for the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few point short United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they will repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about repaying them using your credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and look into any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are plenty of methods to get the most of the travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use 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 meet the minimum spend to earn your credit card, but you’ll also earn points or miles for these costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by using your credit card to pay every day expenses. This could be things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure 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 travelling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This will give the benefit of a wider selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine whether your credit card has any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re using it in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing a combination of the methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.