Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which can be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
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 purchase discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay 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 most value. It all comes down to the number of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with many features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards excellent 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 qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make certain to verify the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some delicious vacation! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have an Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t 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 cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware in case you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for flights. If you’re just a few point short United gives you 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 travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration making payments on them with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you thinking of.
There are many ways to get the most out of the travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum spend to earn your credit card and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for the costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay for every day expenditures. This can include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, think about transferring the balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example, using your points to book a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This gives you access to a wider range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, determine the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure you keep track of 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 it in the most effective method. Utilizing a combination of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.