Are you tired of paying 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 miles which can be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing 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 cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to review your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide various features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to look up the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can use a combination of money and points to pay for your travel. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few point short United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they will pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about repaying them using your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most of the travel credit card and accrue points or miles to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card bonus and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards to pay daily expenditures. This could be things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, like dining or travel. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using points to book a ticket directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or hotel rewards program. This gives an access wider range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that may not be offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to determine whether your credit card has any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, 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 to ensure you’re making use of it in the most efficient way possible. Through an array of methods I’ve described that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.