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 turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little creativity and some insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to check those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer a variety of advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards perfect 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 reach the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make certain to verify this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious getaway! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve worked with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can use a combination of money and points to pay for your trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the entire cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose 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 one flight. If you’re a few points short, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It might be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they’ll repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration paying them off with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you trust the person and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you planning to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel and earn miles or points to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only achieve the required amount to earn your credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover those expenses.
Use your credit card for everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by utilising your credit cards to pay for every day expenses. This can include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, consider transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a ticket directly through the airline may give you a better return than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This will give you access to a wider range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should discover whether your credit card has certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a friend, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using this program in the most efficient way possible. By using a combination of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.