Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little creativity and some insider information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles 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 generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to look into your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer a variety of 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 cards that are great to use for hacking 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 have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to check for the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some nice travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll have access to virtually every airline and you can combine money and points to book your trip. You can even book completely 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 entire cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for flights. If you’re only a couple of point short United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry 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 at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your family members to pay for theirs and they can repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration repaying them using an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and look into any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were planning to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of the travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you be able to meet the required amount to earn your credit card bonus, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for the costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by utilising your credit cards for daily expenses. This could be things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example using points to book a ticket directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This will give the benefit of a greater variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, determine whether your credit card has some perks that could help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using it in the most efficient method possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.