Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which can be used to get discounted or even free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to check your frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the most value. All it boils down to is 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? First step opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that provide various advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are perfect 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 limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to check for the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can use a combination of money and points to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the entire price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines which allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3%. It may be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they can reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about paying them off with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already planning to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most from your travel credit card. earn miles or points to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum spend to earn your credit card bonus and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card to pay for daily expenditures. This can include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example, using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This will give the benefit of a greater selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, discover whether your credit card has any perks that can help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most effective way possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.