Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your dream 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 all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in 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 determine which airline offers you the best price. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer many features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to look up the details. Then it’s all about building up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve worked with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In 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 book your next trip. You can book your flight 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 book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every 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 either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for one flight. No worries though, if you’re a few point short United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider repaying them using your credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to get the most from your travel credit card and earn miles or points to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the required amount to earn your credit card bonus as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for the expenditures.
Use your credit card for everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by utilising your credit cards for daily costs. This can include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For instance using points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give the benefit of a greater range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that aren’t accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should discover if your credit card offers some perks that could help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using this program in the most efficient method possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.