Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which can be used to get discounted or even free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and some know-how, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to review the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with a variety of benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can use a combination of points and cash to book your next trip. You can even book completely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire 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 the full cost for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using dollars or points? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on the same flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few points short, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up, ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they’ll reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration paying them off with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most of the travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you be able to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card, but you’ll also earn points or miles on the expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by using your credit card for everyday expenditures. This could include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, including dining or travel. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example, using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives an access greater range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out if your credit card offers some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a friend, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to track 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 your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient way possible. By using all of the strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.