Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which you can use to score discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider 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 pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to check those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide various advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are great to hack travel
- 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. Each card has its own guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. Then you can begin to rack miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some delicious travel! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and 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 do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you still can buy flights with 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 have the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for flights. If you’re just a few point short United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? 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 United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of 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! 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 great way to hit 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 if you can pay for theirs and they will repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans, consider paying them off with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they understand why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already planning to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. accrue points or miles to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay for daily expenses. This can include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, including dining or travel. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could give you a better return than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a larger range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that may not be available through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should determine the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a friend and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re using it in the most effective way possible. By using an array of methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.