Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles that can then be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your ideal 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 about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to review your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards with many features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be excellent 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 card, you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your next trip. You can even book completely 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 entire cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for flights. If you’re a few point short United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3%. It might be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they will pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider making payments on them with an credit card. Just make sure you 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 major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using your credit card. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were planning to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most out of the travel credit card. earn miles or points to be used towards 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 you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the required amount to earn your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles on these costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spend to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card to pay for every day expenses. This can include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This can give the benefit of a larger range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that aren’t offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
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 are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.