Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles that can then be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider 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 incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to check your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best price. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide a variety of features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to check for the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some sweet vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can use a combination of money and points to pay for your next trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few point short United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and are here to share 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! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they can repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration repaying them using an credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you trust the person and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were planning to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most out of your travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay daily expenses. This could include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, like dining or travel. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you 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 your points to book a flight directly with the airline might offer better return than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This gives an access wider selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be accessible 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 and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a companion, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card. Also, 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 make sure you’re using this program in the most effective method. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.