Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which can be used to get discounted or even free flights to your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish 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 for a more expensive 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 best deal. It all comes down to the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards with many advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards 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 or debit card, you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make certain to verify the details. From there it’s all about building up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points away, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually about 3%. It might be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due then ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider repaying them using your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and 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 trust the person and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already planning to.
There are many ways to make the most from your travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use your travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you achieve the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card bonus and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spend and earn points is using your credit card for every day costs. This could include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, including dining or travel. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, think about transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant 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 instance using your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give the benefit of a wider range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks which are not offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to discover if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card, and be sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most efficient way possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.