Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which can be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to review the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the most value. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer various benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be great to hack 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 reach the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards sweet getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can make use of a combination of money and points to book your travel. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the total price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars on one flight. No worries though, if you’re a few points away, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your family members to pay for theirs and they can repay you.
Repay the loan
If you have any loans, consider paying them off with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got 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 are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all of your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most from your travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card reward and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for the costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards for daily expenditures. This can include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points 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 any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example using your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This will give the benefit of a wider variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, determine whether your credit card has certain benefits that will reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient way possible. Through all of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.