Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which you can use to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little imagination and some information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to look into those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with a variety of features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be great to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to look up the details. Then you can begin to rack miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious travel! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can even book entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on flights. No worries though, if you’re a few points short, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make sure to verify that you are a family member 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 frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and are 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 for your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually around 3%. It may be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they will reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about repaying them using your credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and look into 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 you should consider purchasing all your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you contemplating to.
There are many ways to make the most out of your travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum spend for your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for these costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spend to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards to pay for daily expenses. This can include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, including dining or travel. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater return than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. This can give the benefit of a larger selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should discover the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using it in the most effective way possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.