Are you tired of paying 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 convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which you can use to obtain discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
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 with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to review the frequent flyer account to see which airline can give you the most value. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer various advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards great for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to check for this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards sweet vacation! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the ones I have experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can make use of a combination of money and points to book your next trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the entire cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points for one flight. If you’re only a couple of points away, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to 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 quite thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It might be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your family members to pay for theirs and they’ll pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about paying them off with your credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most out of your travel credit card. accrue points or miles to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card, but you’ll also earn points or miles for the expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spend and earn points is using your credit card to pay everyday expenses. This could include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could offer better value than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This will give you access to a larger variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should find out whether your credit card has certain benefits that will reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure to track your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most effective way possible. Through an array of strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.