Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which can be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost 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 review those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide a variety of advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are great to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. Then it’s all about building up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to use them towards sweet getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can even book entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you still can book flights using 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 flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for flights. No worries though, if you’re a few points away, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they can reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about repaying them using an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to make the most out of 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 a few additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum spend to earn your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for those expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points using your credit card to pay daily expenditures. This could be things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This will give the benefit of a larger variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to determine if your credit card offers certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a companion and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method possible. Through a combination of the methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.