Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles that can then be used to score discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a bit of creativity and some 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 and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards let you 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 building out a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to check the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all boils down to the number of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards with a variety of features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify this information. From there it’s all about building miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice vacation! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to virtually every airline, and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up 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? Butbe aware that if 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 gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant 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 either dollars or points but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they can reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration paying them off with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and look into any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. This way you can hit that minimum spend and be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are many ways to make the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accrue points or miles to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum spend to earn your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spend and earn points is using your credit card for every day costs. This could be things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Just make 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 for certain types of purchases, like dining or travel. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This will give you access to a larger range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should find out whether your credit card has certain benefits that will reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with someone else each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure you 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 of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most effective way possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.