Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little imagination and some information, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to look into your frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the most value. It all comes down to the number of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer various benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards great to use for hacking travel:
- 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 minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards delicious travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to virtually every airline. You can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware in case you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for flights. If you’re just a few points away, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re 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 with a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they can reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration repaying them using your credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate 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 contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to get the most from your travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the required amount for your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for these costs.
Use your credit card for everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is making use of your credit card for daily costs. This can include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so 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, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example using points to book a ticket directly with the airline could give you a better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This will give an access greater selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to determine if your credit card offers certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a companion and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using this program in the most efficient way possible. By using all of the methods I’ve described that you can get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.