Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which can be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and some information, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to review your frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all comes down to the number of miles or points in your travel account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer many benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be great to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make certain to verify this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to use them towards sweet travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can combine money and points to pay for your travel. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the entire cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you do not have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It may be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your family members to pay for theirs and they’ll reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider making payments on them with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you trust the person and they understand why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts using cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already thinking of.
There are many ways to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accrue points or miles to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum spend to earn your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles for the costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card to pay for every day expenses. This could be items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, like dining or travel. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a ticket directly through the airline may offer better value than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This will give an access larger selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, determine whether your credit card has some perks that could 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.
When you travel with someone else each of you will be able to get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve listed that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.