Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which can be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to review the frequent flyer account to see which airline can give you the best price. It all boils down to the number of miles or points 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 a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards with many advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are excellent 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 need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to look up this information. Then it’s all about building up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some sweet vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve worked with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the full price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine points and dollars for the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few point short United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they can repay you.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration making payments on them with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any big 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 are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you thinking of.
There are many methods to get the most out of the travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles on the costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spend to earn rewards is making use of your credit card for everyday expenditures. This could be things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, consider transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This will give the benefit of a larger selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover whether your credit card has 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 are very beneficial when 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 reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most effective way possible. Utilizing all of the methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.