Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which can be used to score discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally 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 check the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide various benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, it’s time to use them towards nice getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can combine money and points to pay for your travel. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your family members to pay for theirs and they can reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about paying them off with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they know why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to make the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the expenses.
Use your credit card for everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by utilising your credit cards for everyday expenses. This could be things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. This gives the benefit of a larger variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine whether your credit card has any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. Some 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 a companion and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using this program in the most efficient method. By using a combination of the 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.