Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which you can use to get discounted or even cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little bit of 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 about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in 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, evaluate the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to review the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the most value. It all boils down to the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with various features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most important 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 need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to check for this information. Then it’s all about building up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards nice getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase credit card, then you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the total cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just 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 provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Make 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 like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and are 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 around 3%. 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 required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up then ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they can repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration paying them off with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and look into any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with your credit card. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are many ways to get the most out of the travel credit card and earn miles or points to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the required amount for your credit card reward, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards for every day expenditures. This could be items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you use them 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 with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This gives the benefit of a larger selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine the card’s benefits. any perks that can reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a friend, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method. By using all of the methods I’ve described, 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 assortment of travel-related perks.