Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which you can use to get discounted or even cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to look into the frequent flyer account to see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning 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 with many benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards excellent for travel hacking:
- 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 spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to check for the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can use a combination of points and cash to book your next trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the full price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware in case 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 possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and are 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 for your rent using credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they’ll pay you back.
Repay the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration repaying them using your credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and look into any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already planning to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most of the travel credit card and earn miles or points to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. Not only will you achieve the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles for those costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by making use of your credit card to pay for daily expenses. This could be items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, like dining or travel. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to have a wider range of options and greater 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 a reward program for hotels. This gives you access to a greater variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to determine whether your credit card has certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a companion and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing all of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.