Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which can be used to get discounted or even free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and some knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem 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 the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to check your frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the most value. All it boils down to is the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide various features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few 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 have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your travel. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the total cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
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 with dollars or points? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars on one flight. If you’re only a couple of point short United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines that allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a fee, 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 great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they’ll pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration repaying them using your credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already planning to.
There are many methods to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. You can earn miles or points to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only achieve the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for those costs.
Use your credit card for everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement and earn points is utilising your credit cards to pay for daily expenses. This could include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, including dining or travel. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to 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 prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance, using points to book a flight directly with the airline could give you a better return than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This can give you access to a greater variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, discover if your credit card offers some perks that could reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using this program in the most effective method. Utilizing an array of methods I’ve described that you can get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.