Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which you can use to obtain discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking travel is taking 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 make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to review your frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all comes down to the number of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide various features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards 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. Each card has its own rules, so make certain to verify this information. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some nice travel! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the total cost, you still 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 realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points for one flight. If you’re a few point short United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your family members to pay for theirs and they will repay you.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider repaying them using the credit card you have. Be sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
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 are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts using cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing 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 book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum spend for your credit card reward, but you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenditures.
Use your credit card for everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spend and earn points is by making use of your credit card to pay daily costs. This could include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example, using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could offer better value than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This will give an access larger selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine if your credit card offers any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using this program in the most effective way possible. Utilizing an array of methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.