Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which can be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little imagination and some know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to review your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer various advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to check for this information. From there you can begin to rack miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet vacation! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the full price, you 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 flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine points and dollars for flights. If you’re just a few points short, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. Don’t worry 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 an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your family members to 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 your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and look into any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already contemplating to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most out of the travel credit card and accrue points or miles to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card reward, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on those expenses.
Use your credit card for all your daily costs
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card to pay every day expenses. This can include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example using points to book a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. 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 reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or hotel rewards program. This can give you access to a larger selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should discover the card’s benefits. any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card and make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method. Through an array of methods I’ve described that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.