Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which can be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting 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. The miles can be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number 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 use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to look into those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer a variety of features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be excellent to use for hacking travel:
- 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 limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to check for the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to virtually every airline and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on the same flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few points away, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It may be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they will pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about making payments on them with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already planning to.
There are many ways to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only achieve the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by utilising your credit cards to pay everyday expenses. This could include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds 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 a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example you can use points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might offer 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 choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This will give an access wider selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out whether your credit card has any perks that can help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.