Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which you can use to score discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to look into the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are many 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 great to hack travel
- 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 spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards delicious getaway! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from a few of the providers I have experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire cost, you still can book flights using the 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 your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for the same flight. If you’re just a few points short, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they will reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about making payments on them with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you contemplating to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most of the travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for the costs.
Use your credit card for everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards to pay daily costs. This could be things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a reward program for hotels. This will give you access to a wider variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should find out whether your credit card has some perks that could reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide 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 someone else and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from 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. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.