Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which you can use to get discounted or even cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to review your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of miles or points in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide many advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are 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 need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be certain to verify this information. Then you can begin to rack miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to use them towards delicious travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can combine points and cash to pay for your travel. You can even book completely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on the same flight. If you’re only a couple of point short United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they’ll repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider repaying them using the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they know why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using your credit card. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to get the most from your travel credit card. accrue points or miles to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the required amount for your credit card, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for those expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points using your credit card for daily expenditures. This can include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might offer better return than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This will give an access larger variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. any perks that can reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card and make sure to track your rewards separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re using this program in the most effective way possible. Utilizing all of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.