Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that provide many advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are perfect to use for hacking 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 spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to look up this information. Then it’s all about building up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some nice getaway! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase credit card, then you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the 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 even book entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on the same flight. If you’re only a couple of point short United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there 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 with credit card, then do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due then ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they can pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan 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 accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with your credit card. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you contemplating to.
There are many ways to get the most of the travel credit card. accrue points or miles to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum spend for your credit card and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spend to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards for daily expenses. This could be things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example using points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater return than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or hotel rewards program. This will give an access greater variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover whether your credit card has some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most effective method. Through an array of methods I’ve described that you can get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.