Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which can be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can 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 incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards with many benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify this information. From there, it’s all about racking miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to use them towards sweet travel! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve worked with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to virtually every airline. You can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can even book completely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points on the same flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of point short United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they will reimburse you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider making payments on them with your credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you trust the person and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you planning to.
There are many ways to make the most out of your travel credit card. accrue points or miles to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum spend for your credit card as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by making use of your credit card to pay daily expenditures. This can include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, including dining or travel. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn 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 the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives an access larger variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine the card’s benefits. some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a companion and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most efficient way possible. Through all of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.