Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which can be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and some information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to review the frequent flyer account to see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards with many benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted 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 be certain to verify this information. Then it’s all about building up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some delicious vacation! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to virtually every airline. You can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can even book entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! 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 cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful that if you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for flights. No worries though, if you’re just a few point short 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 space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines which allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there 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 your rent using 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 if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they’ll pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration repaying them using the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and look into any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you thinking of.
There are a lot of methods to get the most out of your travel credit card. earn miles or points to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related 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 earn points or miles for those costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spend to earn rewards is by using your credit card to pay every day costs. This could include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example using your points to book a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give the benefit of a wider variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective way possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.