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 woes. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles that can then be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little imagination and some know-how, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or 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 establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to look into those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best price. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide a variety of benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are great to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. From there it’s all about building 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 the points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have an Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can combine money and points to pay for your next trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful, if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points short, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due, 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’re a borrower take into consideration repaying them using an credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Just make sure you trust the person and they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are many methods to get the most out of your travel credit card and earn miles or points to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by using your credit card to pay daily costs. This can include 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 pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or reward program for hotels. This can give the benefit of a larger selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should find out if your credit card offers certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a companion, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re using it in the most effective method possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.