Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which you can use to obtain discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to look into the frequent flyer account to see which airline can give you the most value. It all boils down to the number of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards perfect 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 reach the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to check for the details. From there you can begin to rack miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some nice vacation! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the providers I have experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can combine points and cash to pay for your next trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve 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 still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. 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 pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. But don’t fret as we’ve done it 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 to pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they can reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about making payments on them 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
Discuss your family with them and look into any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you planning to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use the travel credit card to pay for 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 qualify for a credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for these expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending and earn points is using your credit card to pay daily expenditures. This could include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer 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 any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might give you a better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This can give an access wider range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out whether your credit card has certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most effective way possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.