Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which you can use to obtain discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to review your frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best price. It all boils down to the number of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide a variety of benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards great to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make certain to verify the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice getaway! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline. You can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the total cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using dollars or points? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points for the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few point short United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars but not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it 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 your rent using credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It might be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due then ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider making payments on them with an credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and look into any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were thinking of.
There are many methods to get the most out of the travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the required amount to earn your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover the costs.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spend and earn points is by utilising your credit cards for everyday costs. This could be items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, including dining or travel. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For example, using your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This can give an access greater variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to determine whether your credit card has some perks that could help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card and make sure to track your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using this program in the most effective way possible. Through all of the methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.