Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to score discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to review 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 you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer various advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards 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 have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can combine money and points to book your next trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire price, you 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 full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars on the same flight. If you’re just a few points short, United gives you 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, allowing you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they will pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration paying them off with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with 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 help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accumulate miles or points that you can use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on those costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spend in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card for daily expenses. This can include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then 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 your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This will give an access wider range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that aren’t 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. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using this program in the most efficient method possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.