Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which you can use to score discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to review those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best price. It all boils down to the number of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that provide many benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect to hack 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 reach the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some delicious vacation! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from a few of the companies I have experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine points and dollars on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of point short United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. But don’t fret 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 huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It may be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they can repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration paying them off with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using your credit card. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already thinking of.
There are many ways to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. accumulate miles or points that you can spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card reward as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card for everyday costs. This can include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example using points to book a ticket directly with the airline could offer better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or reward program for hotels. This will give you access to a greater variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should determine the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing 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 method. Through all of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.