Are you tired of paying 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 sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which you can use to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to 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, evaluate the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to look into your frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer a variety of features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are great to hack travel
- 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 hit the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to check for the details. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to virtually every airline and you can use a combination of points and cash to book your next trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have 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 for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few point short United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. Don’t worry 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 pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they’ll repay you.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider making payments on them with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and look into any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already thinking of.
There are a lot of methods to get the most from the travel credit card and earn miles or points to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the required amount for your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for the expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spend in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards to pay for every day expenditures. This can include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might offer better return than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits 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 you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives the benefit of a wider variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to find out the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.