Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to review those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that offer a variety of advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to get 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 using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can make use of a combination of money and points to book your trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking 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 can’t combine points and dollars for one flight. If you’re only a couple of points away, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
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 amount required to earn credit card bonuses. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and are 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 with a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually around 3%. It may be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your family members to pay for theirs and they can reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about paying them off with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to look into any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they understand why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already thinking of.
There are a lot of methods to get the most of the travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the required amount for your credit card bonus as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenses.
Use your credit card for everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spend and earn points is using your credit card for everyday expenses. This could be things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or hotel rewards program. This gives the benefit of a larger selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should determine the card’s benefits. some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a friend, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using this program in the most efficient method. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.