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 a fun way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some 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 rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to review those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide many benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect to hack 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 hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can combine points and cash to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few point short United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at 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 that allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It might 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 pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they will reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider repaying them using the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue additional 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. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you thinking of.
There are many ways to make the most of your travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only achieve the minimum spend for your credit card as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is making use of your credit card to pay for every day expenditures. This could include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, like dining or travel. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might give you a better return than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This gives you access to a larger selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to determine the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card and make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn 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 make sure you’re using this program in the most effective method possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.