Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which you can use to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little 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 the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in 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 book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to check the frequent flyer account to see which airline can give you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide many features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most essential 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 limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. 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?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards delicious getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few point short United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature where you can combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due then ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they can pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about making payments on them with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to look into any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most out of your travel credit card. accrue points or miles to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spend and earn points is utilising your credit cards for everyday expenditures. This could include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could offer better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This will give the benefit of a larger selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be available through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should find out if your credit card offers some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling 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 keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing an array of methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.