Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which you can use to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight consider the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to review those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best price. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards with many features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be perfect to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to check for the details. From there, it’s all about racking miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to use them towards delicious travel! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the ones I have experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline. You can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your travel. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every 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 of paying using dollars or points? Be careful, if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for one flight. If you’re just a few points short, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they can reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans, consider making payments on them with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to get the most from the travel credit card. earn miles or points to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card, but you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenses.
Use your credit card for all your daily costs
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is using your credit card for daily costs. This can include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, like dining or travel. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, consider transferring the 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 simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might offer better return than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This will give an access greater variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a companion and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card, and be sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient way possible. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.