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 a fun way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which you can use to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to review the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the most value. It all boils down to the number of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide many features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards perfect to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted 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 guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some sweet travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the full cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying 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 flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few point short United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
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 in order to meet the minimum spend 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 big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It may be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they will pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about paying them off with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up 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 doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts using the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were thinking of.
There are many ways to get the most of the travel credit card. accrue points or miles to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use you travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to hit the required amount to earn your credit card reward, but you’ll also earn points or miles for the expenditures.
Use your credit card for all your daily costs
Another way to meet the minimum spend to earn rewards is using your credit card for daily expenditures. This could be things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, like dining or travel. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example, using points to book a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This will give the benefit of a wider variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, determine the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using it in the most efficient method. Utilizing a combination of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.