Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which can be used to get discounted or even free flights to your desired destinations. With a little 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 all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer many benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be excellent 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 card you’ll need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to check for this information. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and 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 amount, it’s time to use them towards delicious travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few point short United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines which allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3%. It may be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your family members to pay for theirs and they can repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider paying them off with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and look into any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you trust the person and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using your credit card. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you planning to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most out of the travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum spend to earn your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is making use of your credit card to pay daily costs. This could include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For instance, using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or hotel rewards program. This gives the benefit of a wider selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine whether your credit card has certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.