Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles that can then be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little creativity and some insider knowledge, you can travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to check those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide a variety of features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. Then, it’s all about racking miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some nice vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your trip. 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 total cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? But, be careful, if you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for one flight. If you’re just a few points short, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines that allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term when the bonus is large 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 to pay for theirs and they can repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about paying them off with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already planning to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel and accumulate miles or points that you can use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum spend to earn your credit card and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on the expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards for daily costs. This can include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use points to book a ticket directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you have a wider range 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 a reward program for hotels. This gives the benefit of a greater selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should determine the card’s benefits. some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most efficient way possible. By using an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.