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 woes. It’s an exciting way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which can be used to get discounted or even free flights to your dream destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of 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. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses 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 flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in 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 check those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best price. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with various advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are great to hack 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 reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to check for the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to use them towards sweet getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can use a combination of money and points to pay for your next trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the total price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points away, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines that allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can pool your points together with family members to accrue 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 like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it 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 using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for 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 will repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider making payments on them with an credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and look into any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accrue points or miles to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum spend to earn your credit card bonus, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for the expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay everyday expenditures. This could be things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example, using your points to book a ticket directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will let you have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This can give an access wider selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most effective method. Through a combination of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.