Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which you can use to score discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to look into the frequent flyer account to see which airline can give you the best price. It all comes down to the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with many advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect for travel hacking:
- 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 reach the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make certain to verify this information. From there it’s all about building up miles, and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your travel. You can even book entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with 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 have the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points short, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. 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 to pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3%. It may be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they can repay you.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider paying them off with your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can 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 it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can hit that minimum spend and be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you planning to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most of the travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ways to maximize 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 expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover those costs.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is making use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures. This can include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This can give an access larger variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most effective method. Through all of the methods I’ve described that you can get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.