Are you tired 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 way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to look into those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best price. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide a variety of features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards excellent to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. Then it’s all about building miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice getaway! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can use a combination of money and points to book your next trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you 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 cannot combine points and dollars for flights. 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? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn a 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 an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up, ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they will pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider paying them off with an credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they understand why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you thinking of.
There are many ways to make the most of the travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the required amount for your credit card reward, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spend to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards to pay every day costs. This can include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, like dining or travel. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This can give an access wider variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should determine whether your credit card has some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can 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 the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.