Are you tired of spending 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 convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which can be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight consider the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to review your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the most value. It all boils down to the number of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many advantages and features. 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 perfect to hack travel
- 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 minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have 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 travel. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the full cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on one flight. If you’re a few points short, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines which allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you join your points with your family members and earn 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 companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. 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 an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they can reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration repaying them using an credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and look into any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with your credit card. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are many methods to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you achieve the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for the costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is making use of your credit card for every day costs. This could be items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
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 a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This can give the benefit of a larger range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that aren’t accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out the card’s benefits. any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a friend, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of it in the most efficient method. Through a combination of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.