Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which you can use to get discounted or even free flights to your desired 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 the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to check those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with many benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be excellent for travel hacking:
- 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. Then it’s all about building miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some nice travel! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from a few of the providers I have experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can combine money and points to pay for your travel. You can even book completely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book 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 can’t combine dollars and points on the same flight. If you’re only a couple of points short, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and are 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 your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It might be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they can repay you.
Repay the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider making payments on them with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and look into any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using cards from your credit account. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were thinking of.
There are plenty of methods to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accrue points or miles to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only achieve the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these expenses.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spend to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards to pay daily expenditures. This could be things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, like dining or travel. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the 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 wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a ticket directly through the airline may offer better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give the benefit of a greater selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t available through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should find out whether your credit card has any perks that can 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 are very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using it in the most efficient method. By using all of the strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.