Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which can be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a little imagination and some know-how, you’ll travel for free 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 then be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to look into your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all comes down to the number of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer various features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your 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 great 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 have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to look up the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some nice getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying 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 points short, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done 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 pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they’ll pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about making payments on them with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using your credit card. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be prepared to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already planning to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of your travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement and earn points is using your credit card to pay for daily costs. This could include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align 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 onto a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For instance using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a reward program for hotels. This will give an access larger variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most effective method. By using a combination of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.