Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which you can use to score discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to check your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer a variety of features and benefits. 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 excellent 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 qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be certain to verify this information. From there it’s all about building miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to use them towards delicious travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve worked with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the full price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? Be careful, if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on one flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few points away, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried 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 using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It might be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they will pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration paying them off with an credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and look into any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you planning to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spend in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card for daily expenditures. This can include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, like dining or travel. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your 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
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could offer better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This gives an access greater range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine if your credit card offers any perks that can 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 invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with someone else and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make 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 know the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method possible. By using all of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.