Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your dream 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 about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to review those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the most value. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide various 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 some credit cards 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 reach the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to check for this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to use them towards sweet getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the total cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually about 3%. It might be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they can repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about making payments on them with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. accrue points or miles to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spend to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card for everyday costs. This could be things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Consider 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 the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use points to book a ticket directly with the airline might offer better value than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives the benefit of a wider range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that may not be available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover if your credit card offers certain benefits that will reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.