Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which you can use to get discounted or even cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to look into those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer a variety of features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be excellent for travel hacking:
- 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 receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to check for this information. Then, it’s all about racking miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some nice travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can combine points and cash to book your next trip. You can even book completely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful that if you do not have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars on the same flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they can reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration paying them off with an credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are many ways to make the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. accumulate miles or points that you can spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by using your credit card to pay for daily costs. This could include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, consider transferring the balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example, using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or hotel rewards program. This will give you access to a wider selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out the card’s benefits. any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing 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 effective method possible. By using all of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.