Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which you can use to score discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little imagination and some know-how, 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 incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to review those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best price. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.
Begin by Getting 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 plenty of great credit cards with a variety of benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. Then you can begin to rack miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet getaway! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to virtually every airline, and you can combine money and points to pay for your trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover 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 fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points on one flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few points away, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines which allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to join 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 to reach the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done 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 to pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3%. It might be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your family members to pay for theirs and they can pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about making payments on them with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and look into any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are many ways to make the most from the travel credit card. earn miles or points to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card reward as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles for the expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending and earn points is making use of your credit card for everyday expenses. This could include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a credit card, think about transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example, using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could offer better return than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a wider selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a companion, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method. By using an array of strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.