Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking can 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 that can then be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to check the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards with a variety of benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be excellent for travel hacking:
- 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 minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make certain to verify this information. From there you can begin to rack up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can use a combination of points and cash to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the entire cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying using dollars or points? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on the same flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It might be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up then ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they can reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans, consider paying them off with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already thinking of.
There are plenty of methods to get the most out of the travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card reward, but you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card to pay daily expenses. This could be items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage 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, you might want to transfer that balance onto the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might offer better value than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will let you have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give the benefit of a larger range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, find out the card’s benefits. some perks that could help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most effective method. Through an array of strategies I’ve listed that you can get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.