Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which can be used to get discounted or even free flights to your desired destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to look into your frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best deal. 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 ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide various features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are great for travel hacking:
- 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 receive the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can use a combination of money and points to pay for your travel. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they will repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans, consider repaying them using your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with your credit card. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you planning to.
There are many ways to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accumulate miles or points that you can use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards
Make travel reservations using 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. You’ll not only achieve the required amount to earn your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spend to earn rewards is using your credit card to pay everyday expenditures. This could be things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, think about transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might offer better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This can give the benefit of a larger range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that may not be offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to find out the card’s benefits. any perks that can save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with someone else and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method. Utilizing all of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.