Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? 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 miles that can then be used to get discounted or even free flights to your dream destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to check your frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the most value. It all comes down to the number of miles or points in your travel account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide many 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 some credit card options that can be great to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to check for this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some nice travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on the same flight. No worries though, if you’re a few points short, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines which allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can pool your points together with family members to accrue 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 and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they can pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration making payments on them with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they understand why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you planning to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. You can earn miles or points to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum spend for your credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles for the expenses.
Use your credit card for everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by utilising your credit cards for daily costs. This could include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that match 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, think about transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For instance 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 a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This gives an access wider selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, determine the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with someone else each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using this program in the most effective method possible. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.