Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll 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. The miles can be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards 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 price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to check the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer many advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be great for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be certain to verify this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to virtually every airline. You can combine points and cash to book your next trip. You can even book completely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the total cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine points and dollars for the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points away, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. 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 cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about making payments on them with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any large expenses coming up which you could 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 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 for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were planning to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most from your travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you achieve the required amount to qualify for a credit card and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these expenditures.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spend to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards for everyday expenses. This can include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use your points to book a ticket directly through the airline may offer better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This gives an access wider variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, determine whether your credit card has some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with someone else, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using it 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 take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.