Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which can be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in travel hacking is to take 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 cost is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to review the frequent flyer account and determine which airline offers you the best price. It all boils down to the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with a variety of advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards great to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to look up 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 travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re a few points away, United also offers 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 flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines that allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it 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 for your rent using credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term 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 do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they can pay you back.
Repay the loan
If you have any loans, consider repaying them using the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and look into any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using your credit card. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already planning to.
There are many ways to get the most from your travel credit card. earn miles or points to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the required amount to earn your credit card, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for the expenditures.
Use your credit card for everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending and earn points is using your credit card for every day expenses. This can include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, like dining or travel. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example, using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could offer better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This will give an access wider range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that aren’t accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, determine if your credit card offers 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 are very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a friend, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using it in the most efficient method. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.