Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which can be used to score discounted or free flights to your desired 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 all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to look into the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the best price. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points in your travel account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer a variety of features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards 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 reach the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. From there it’s all about building miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some delicious vacation! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on flights. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can join 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 into 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 difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they can repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration making payments on them with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all of your gifts with your credit card. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you planning to.
There are many ways to get the most of your travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card bonus, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for those expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards to pay for daily costs. This can include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card’s 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. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could give you a better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This can give the benefit of a greater variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover the card’s benefits. some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with someone else, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using this program in the most effective way possible. Utilizing a combination of the methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.