Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which you can use to score discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a little creativity and some insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles to pay for 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 on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to check your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide various advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards great to use for hacking 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 limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to use them towards nice vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll have access to virtually every airline, and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you do not have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars on the same flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they will repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about paying them off with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum spend for your credit card and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for those costs.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenses
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is utilising your credit cards to pay every day costs. This could include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to a travel credit card with 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 amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example using your points to book a ticket directly through the airline may offer better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This can give an access wider selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should determine the card’s benefits. some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve listed that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.