Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which can be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little creativity and some insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with various features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards great 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 need to reach 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. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful that if you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points on flights. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of point short United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you combine your points with your relatives to 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 anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and we’re 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! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It might be worth it over the long term 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 don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your family members to pay for theirs and they’ll repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider repaying them using an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they understand why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to make the most from your travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the required amount to earn your credit card as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card to pay every day expenditures. This could be things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example using points to book a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This can give an access greater selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. any perks that can save you money on travel-related expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a companion, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using it in the most effective way possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.