Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which can be used to score discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be great 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 hit the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be certain to verify this information. From there, it’s all about racking miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to use them towards delicious getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking 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 can’t combine dollars and points on flights. If you’re a few points short, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can 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 buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up, ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans, consider paying them off with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to look into any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you thinking of.
There are many ways to get the most from the travel credit card and accrue points or miles to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you achieve the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card reward, but you’ll also earn points or miles for those costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card to pay for every day expenditures. This can include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, including dining or travel. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give you access to a greater range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks which are not accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should discover if your credit card offers some perks that could 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 could be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most efficient method possible. By using all of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.