Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles that can then be used to get discounted or even free flights to your dream destinations. With a little creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to look into your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer many benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be certain to verify this information. Then, it’s all about racking up 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 balance, it’s time to use them towards sweet getaway! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve worked with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can combine money and points to book your trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points on flights. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done 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 with a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they can reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider repaying them using an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already planning to.
There are many methods to get the most out of your travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the required amount for your credit card reward as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement and earn points is utilising your credit cards to pay every day expenditures. This can include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
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 then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could offer better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This will give an access greater selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover whether your credit card has certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of it in the most effective method possible. By using all of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.