Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which can be used to score discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best price. All it boils down to is the number of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that offer many benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be perfect to hack travel
- 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 need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. From there it’s all about building up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious vacation! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can use a combination of points and cash to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few points away, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they’ll repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans, consider repaying them using the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you planning to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can earn miles or points to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the required amount to earn your credit card bonus and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for the expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by utilising your credit cards for every day expenses. This can include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example you can use points to book a ticket directly through the airline may offer better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This gives the benefit of a wider range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that may not be available through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should discover whether your credit card has certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing an array of methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.