Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to review those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer a variety of features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards 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 have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve worked with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
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 make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your travel. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on flights. If you’re a few point short United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there 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 to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up then ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about making payments on them with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with your credit card. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were planning to.
There are many ways to get the most out of the travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll achieve the required amount to qualify for a credit card and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for the costs.
Use your credit card for all your daily costs
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card to pay daily costs. This could include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration 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 an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This will give you access to a larger variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method. By using an array of methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.