Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles that can then be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a 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 swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to review your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with a variety of advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are great for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make certain to verify the details. From there it’s all about building up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some delicious travel! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can use a combination of money and points to pay for 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 price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on flights. No worries though, if you’re a few points short, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. It may be worth it 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 don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they will repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about paying them off with an credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and see if they have any large expenses coming up which you could help pay 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 it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are many ways to get the most of the travel credit card. accrue points or miles to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card bonus and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay for every day costs. This could be things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use points to book a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or reward program for hotels. This can give an access wider variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should find out if your credit card offers any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a companion and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to track 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 your credit card in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing an array of methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.