Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which can be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little imagination and some information, 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 rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to look into those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide various benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few 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 spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to look up the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to plan your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some delicious vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the providers I have experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars for one flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few points short, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can 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 buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it 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 to pay for your rent using credit card, go for it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It may be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they can repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration making payments on them with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and look into any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using cards from your credit account. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you contemplating to.
There are many ways to make the most out of the travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of you travel credit card to book 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 reward, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards to pay every day costs. This could be things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance using your points to book a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This can give you access to a wider variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should find out if your credit card offers certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide 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 and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards separately.
The key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most effective way possible. Through a combination 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 benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.