Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which you can use to get discounted or even cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and some information, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide a variety of features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be excellent 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 get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be certain to verify this information. From there it’s all about building up miles, and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards delicious vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can even book completely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few point short United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they can pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans, consider repaying them using an credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to look into any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most out of the travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the required amount for your credit card bonus, but you’ll also earn points or miles for these costs.
Use your credit card for everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by using your credit card to pay for every day costs. This can include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance using points to book a ticket directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion 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 in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This can give an access wider selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, discover if your credit card offers some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure to track your rewards separately.
The key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most effective method possible. Through an array of strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.