Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which can be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific 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 usually better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to look into your frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with a variety of advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be 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 have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. From there it’s all about building miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious travel! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to virtually every airline, and you can use a combination of money and points to book your travel. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the balance 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 in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for one flight. No worries though, if you’re a few points short, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they will reimburse you.
Pay off the 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 accumulate additional debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to 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 reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already planning to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most of the travel credit card and earn miles or points to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to meet the required amount for your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is using your credit card for daily expenditures. This could be things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring 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 also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example using your points to book a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives an access larger range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that aren’t offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should determine the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a companion and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to track your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most effective way possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.