Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which can be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a bit of 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 the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to look into your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with various advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to use them towards sweet getaway! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can use a combination of money and points to book your next trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the total price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for one flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few points away, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach 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 in order to meet the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they can pay you back.
Repay the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about making payments on them with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and look into any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they know why you’re doing it.
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 to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you planning to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most from the travel credit card and earn miles or points to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only achieve the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for the expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is making use of your credit card for every day costs. This could be things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow 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 wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using your points to book a flight directly with the airline might offer better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This gives you access to a wider selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should discover if your credit card offers some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most effective method. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.