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 method to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which you can use to score discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in 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 it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to review your frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide various features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make certain to verify the details. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some delicious vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can even book completely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for one flight. If you’re only a couple of point short United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Just make sure you can 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 companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3%. It might be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they will pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration repaying them using an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts using your credit card. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most out of the travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on those costs.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by using your credit card to pay everyday expenses. This could be items like groceries, gas, and even your phone 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 for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For example, using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This will give an access wider variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to find out whether your credit card has some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with someone else, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method possible. By using an array of methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.