Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles that can then be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little creativity and some insider knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to look into those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best price. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer various benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards perfect 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 minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to look up the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can use a combination of money and points to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely 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 in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on flights. If you’re just a few points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It may be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they will reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about making payments on them with an credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and 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 understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already contemplating to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most out of the travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card bonus, but you’ll also earn points or miles for the costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is making use of your credit card to pay everyday expenses. This could be items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to 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 specific types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable 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
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This can give the benefit of a larger range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out the card’s benefits. any perks that can reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a companion and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve listed that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.