Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which you can use to get discounted or even free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to check your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards with many advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to check for the details. From there it’s all about building miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some nice vacation! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can use a combination of money and points to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware in case you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you join your points 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 into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
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 about 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large 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 family members to pay their medical bills and they’ll repay you.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about repaying them using an credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to look into any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they understand why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you contemplating to.
There are many methods to get the most of your travel credit card. earn miles or points to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you achieve the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card bonus, but you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenses.
Use your credit card for all your daily costs
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is by using your credit card for everyday expenses. This could be things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For example using points to book a flight directly with the airline could give you a better return than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give the benefit of a wider selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to find out whether your credit card has any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling 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 and make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using it in the most effective method possible. Through an array of strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.