Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles that can then be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to review your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer many advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards great to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If 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 card has different guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. From there it’s all about building up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some nice getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can combine money and points to book your next trip. 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 total cost, you still 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 full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for one flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few points short, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member 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 to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done 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 to pay for your rent using credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It might be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they will repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about making payments on them with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to look into 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 know why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using your credit card. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are many ways to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can earn miles or points to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card reward, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spend to earn rewards is making use of your credit card for every day expenditures. This could be things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in 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 transfer. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example, using your points to book a flight directly with the airline could offer better value than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give you access to a wider variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, find out the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a companion, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
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 ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.