Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which you can use to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little creativity and some insider know-how, 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 and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to review those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best price. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open an account 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, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to look up this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, it’s time to use them towards delicious vacation! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the ones I have experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the entire cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few point short United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it 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 pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they can reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider paying them off with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and look into any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already planning to.
There are many methods to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accumulate miles or points that you can spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those costs.
Use your credit card for everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card for everyday expenditures. This can include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example using your points to book a ticket directly through the airline may give you a better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a wider range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, determine if your credit card offers some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing 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 effective method. Through all of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.