Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which you can use to obtain discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take 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 cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to review those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best price. It all boils down to the number of miles or points in your travel account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide a variety of advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be great for travel hacking:
- 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 have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make certain to verify this information. Then it’s all about building miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some nice travel! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can use a combination of money and points to pay for your trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few point short United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and we’re 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 using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up, ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they’ll reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans, consider repaying them using an credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all of your gifts with your credit card. This way you can hit that minimum spend and be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to get the most of your travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card reward as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards for everyday expenditures. This can include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to 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 on certain kinds of purchases, such as dining or travel. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example, using your points to book a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This gives you access to a greater range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover whether your credit card has certain benefits that will 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 invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective way possible. Through all of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.