Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles that can then be used to score discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a little 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 all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to review the frequent flyer account to see which airline can give you the best deal. It all comes down to the number of miles or points in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with various advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to look up the details. Then, it’s all about racking miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some delicious travel! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to virtually every airline. You can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the total price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on flights. No worries though, if you’re just a few points short, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it 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 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 when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up, ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they’ll repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration paying them off with the credit card you have. 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
Ask your family members to look into any major expenses in the near future 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, consider buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. This way you can hit that minimum spend and be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you contemplating to.
There are many methods to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel and earn miles or points to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for those costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by using your credit card to pay for daily expenditures. This can include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, consider transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This can give you access to a wider variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to find out if your credit card offers certain benefits that will reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most effective method possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.