Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to get discounted or even free flights to your desired destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to look into your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide a variety of advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are great to hack 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 hit the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. From there it’s all about building up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards delicious vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have an Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can use a combination of money and points to book your next 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 have enough points to cover the full price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on one flight. If you’re a few points short, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It may be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up, ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they will pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about repaying them using an credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to 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 know why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can hit that minimum spend and be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already planning to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most out of the travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the required amount to earn your credit card and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spend and earn points is using your credit card to pay daily expenses. This could be items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
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 evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might offer better value than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This will give an access greater selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should find out whether your credit card has certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using this program in the most efficient way possible. By using all of the methods I’ve described that you can get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.