Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and some information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to look into your frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with many advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be great for travel hacking:
- 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 limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. Then it’s all about building up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some nice travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the entire cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines which allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member 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 frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It may be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they’ll repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider paying them off with an credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to make the most from your travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on these costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spend and earn points is by using your credit card for every day costs. This can include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance, using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could offer better return than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This gives the benefit of a larger range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that may not be offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, determine the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide 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 a companion and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re using this program in the most effective method possible. Through an array of strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.