Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which can be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and some know-how, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to look into those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best price. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide many features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be 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 spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make certain to verify the details. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards sweet getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. 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 to pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up then ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they can pay you back.
Repay the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration repaying them using the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already contemplating to.
There are many methods to get the most from the travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of you 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 amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards to pay for every day expenditures. This could include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance onto 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 help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use points to book a ticket directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. 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 capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This will give you access to a wider range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure to track your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective way possible. By using all of the strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.