Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to look into those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best deal. It all comes down to the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide various features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be 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 hit the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to check for this information. Then, it’s all about racking miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, it’s time to use them towards nice vacation! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the total cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few point short United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Reach 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 minimum spend for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they can pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration paying them off with your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you trust the person and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most of the travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only achieve the required amount to qualify for a credit card as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points using your credit card to pay for daily expenses. This can include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance using points to book a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or hotel rewards program. This can give you access to a greater selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover whether your credit card has some perks that could help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most effective method possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.