Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which can be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to look into the frequent flyer account and determine which airline offers you the most value. All it boils down to is the number of miles or points in your travel account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer various advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be excellent 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 have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be certain to verify this information. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the ones I have experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the total cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points for flights. No worries though, if you’re just a few points short, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should 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 that of United Airlines that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit 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 can repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about paying them off with your credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and 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 are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can earn miles or points to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only achieve the required amount to earn your credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on those expenditures.
Use your credit card for everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spend in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards to pay for every day expenditures. This could include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate 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 align with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This will give you access to a greater variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to find out whether your credit card has some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a companion, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective way possible. By using all of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.