Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which can be used to score discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little creativity and some insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful 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 you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to look into those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with many benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be great for travel hacking:
- 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 reach the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to check for this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious travel! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can combine points and cash to book your travel. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the full price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with either points or dollars? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on one flight. If you’re just a few point short United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It might be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they can reimburse you.
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 the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they understand why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be prepared to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already planning to.
There are many ways to make the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. accrue points or miles to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points using your credit card to pay for every day expenses. This can include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For instance, using points to book a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This gives you access to a wider selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should find out whether your credit card has certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with someone else, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
The key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most efficient way possible. By using all of the methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.