Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles that can then be used to get discounted or even free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to check the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the best price. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide many benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards excellent 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 need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to use them towards sweet vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline. You can use a combination of points and cash to book your next trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
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 to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few point short United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about making payments on them with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay 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 take into consideration buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you contemplating to.
There are many methods to get the most of your travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the required amount for your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenditures.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards to pay everyday expenditures. This could include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds 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.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a greater selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on travel 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.
If you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective way possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.