Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which can be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, 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 and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to look into your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with a variety of features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be great to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to look up the details. Then it’s all about building up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to use them towards nice vacation! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have an Chase credit card, then you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the total cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars on one flight. If you’re only a couple of points away, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? 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 that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, go for it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they will repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration repaying them using your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you trust the person and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to make the most of your travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the required amount for your credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on these expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards to pay for everyday expenditures. This can include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might offer better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This gives the benefit of a wider range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover the card’s benefits. some perks that could 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 are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card and make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using it in the most effective method possible. Through an array of methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.