Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best 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 those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer various advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect to use for hacking 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 have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be certain to verify this information. Then it’s all about building up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve worked with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to virtually every airline and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your next trip. You can even book completely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few point short United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend 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 we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. 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 excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up, ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they’ll pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about repaying them using your credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all of your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you contemplating to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accrue points or miles to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles for these costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by making use of your credit card to pay for daily expenses. This could include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a 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 transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could give you a better return than using them for the purchase of a 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 have a wider range of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a hotel rewards program. This will give an access larger selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out whether your credit card has some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective way possible. Through an array of methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.