Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which you can use to score discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
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 you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to look into the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the best price. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer a variety of features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be perfect to use for hacking 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 hit the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. Then it’s all about building up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can use a combination of points and cash to book your next trip. You can even book completely 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 buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful, if you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few point short United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried 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 an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It may be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they’ll pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider making payments on them with your credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up which you could help pay 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 take into consideration buying all your gifts using your credit card. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were planning to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most of the travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles for the expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another method to reach the minimum spend and earn points is by using your credit card for daily expenditures. This could include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, including dining or travel. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and make use 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 credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This gives an access wider selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re using this program in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing all of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.