Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which you can use to score discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a little imagination and some information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles 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 usually better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to check those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best deal. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards with many features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be great to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. From there, it’s all about racking miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of point short United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It may be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they can reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration repaying them using the credit card you have. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any major expenses in the near future 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 taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using your credit card. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already thinking of.
There are a lot of methods to get the most of the travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card bonus and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spend and earn points is by utilising your credit cards to pay daily costs. This can include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example using points to book a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater return than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. This gives you access to a greater range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks which are not available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, find out whether your credit card has some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using this program in the most efficient method. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.