Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which can be used to score discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a little imagination and some know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to check the frequent flyer account and determine which airline offers you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer various advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be perfect 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 hit the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to check for the details. Then, it’s all about racking miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your next trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the total cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful, if you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on one flight. If you’re a few point short United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue dollar 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 family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due then ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they’ll reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about paying them off with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts using your credit card. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were thinking of.
There are a lot of methods to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card, but you’ll also earn points or miles for the expenses.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spend to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards for daily costs. This could include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might give you a better return than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This gives the benefit of a larger selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to find out if your credit card offers certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a companion and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most effective way possible. By using a combination of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.