Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which you can use to obtain discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to review the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide a variety of features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to pool your points together 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.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through 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 to pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It might be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they can reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans, consider making payments on them with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are many methods to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. accumulate miles or points that you can spend on 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 vacation, make use of your travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum spend to earn your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these costs.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by using your credit card for every day expenses. This can include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example using your points to book a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This gives you access to a wider variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, determine whether your credit card has any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a companion each of you will be able to get rewards on your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most efficient way possible. Through an array of strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.