Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles that can then be used to score discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to review your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best price. It all boils down to the number of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with various features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards 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 need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to look up this information. From there it’s all about building miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to virtually every airline. You can combine money and points to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
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 of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful in case you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for flights. If you’re only a couple of points short, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It might be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they can repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration repaying them using your credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were thinking of.
There are plenty of methods to get the most of your travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum spend to earn your credit card and earn points, 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 spending requirement in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards to pay for everyday costs. This can include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, including dining or travel. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a flight directly with the airline could offer better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give an access greater variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover if your credit card offers certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a friend, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re making use of it in the most effective method possible. By using all of the methods I’ve described that you can get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.