Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which can be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to check your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide a variety of advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few 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 minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to check for the details. Then you can begin to rack miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to use them towards sweet travel! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can use a combination of money and points to book your next trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the entire cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for flights. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and are 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 for your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up, ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they can pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans, consider paying them off with your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and look into any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you planning to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most out of your travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum spend for your credit card bonus as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is using your credit card to pay for daily expenditures. This can include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example using points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This will give an access greater selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, find out whether your credit card has some perks that could reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using it in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.