Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which can be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to review the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the best price. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide a variety of benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards 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 or debit 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 look up the details. Then it’s all about building up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get 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 entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the total cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every 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? Butbe aware in case you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points away, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re 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, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they will pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about making payments on them with your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are many methods to get the most out of the travel credit card. earn miles or points to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum spend to earn your credit card bonus, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for these costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by using your credit card for everyday costs. This could be items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use points to book a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater return 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 allows you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This can give you access to a larger selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, find out whether your credit card has any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card and make sure to track your rewards separately.
The key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of it in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.