Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. 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 free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll 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 incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in 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 find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with various benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can use a combination of points and cash to book your next trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any 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 of paying using either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and are here to share 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! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the required spending is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they will pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider repaying them using your credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any big expenses coming up that you can contribute 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 you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already planning to.
There are many ways to get the most out of the travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card reward, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spend and earn points is by utilising your credit cards to pay for every day expenses. This can include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This gives the benefit of a larger variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card, and be sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key 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 efficient way possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.