Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little creativity and some insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to look into the frequent flyer account to see which airline can give you the most value. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with a variety of features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are excellent to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful, if you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for one flight. If you’re only a couple of point short United gives you the option to purchase 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 more legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines which allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there 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 your rent with a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3%. It may be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they can repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider paying them off with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to look into 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 doing this.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with your credit card. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already thinking of.
There are many ways to make the most of the travel credit card. accrue points or miles to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card reward, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover those expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spend to earn rewards is making use of your credit card for everyday expenditures. This could include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example using points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a reward program for hotels. This can give you access to a larger selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, determine the card’s benefits. some perks that could reduce your travel costs. 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 friend, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure you 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 know the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most effective way possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.