Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards 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 flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to look into the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the most value. 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 of travel hacking? Your first task is opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that offer various features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are excellent 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 hit the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be certain to verify this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards delicious vacation! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the total cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on one flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you 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 into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. 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 an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they will pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider paying them off with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to 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 of your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you thinking of.
There are many ways to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. accumulate miles or points that you can use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only achieve the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is utilising your credit cards to pay everyday costs. This could include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This gives an access larger selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine whether your credit card has certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with someone else, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards 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 making use of your credit card in the most effective method. Through all of the strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.