Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles that can then be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of 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 exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best price. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide a variety of advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect to hack 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 reach the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to look up this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to use them towards nice getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to virtually every airline. You can use a combination of money and points to book your travel. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for flights. If you’re just a few points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it 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 credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up then ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they’ll pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider repaying them using the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most from the travel credit card. accrue points or miles to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum spend to earn your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover those costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards to pay every day costs. This could include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, like dining or travel. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage 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 onto the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use points to book a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This will give an access wider range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks which are not offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using it in the most efficient method. Through an array of strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.