Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which you can use to obtain discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and some information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out 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 cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to check the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the most value. It all boils down to the number of miles or points in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with a variety of features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are excellent to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make certain to verify the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to virtually every airline. You can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars on one flight. If you’re just a few 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 more space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3%. It may be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they will reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about paying them off with an credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to see if they have any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are many ways to get the most of the travel credit card. earn miles or points to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum spend for your credit card reward, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card to pay for everyday costs. This can include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example using your points to book a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or hotel rewards program. This can give the benefit of a greater selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, find out if your credit card offers certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card, and be sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.