Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which you can use to get discounted or even cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and some know-how, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to look into the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with many advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make certain to verify the details. From there it’s all about building miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice getaway! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can use a combination of points and cash to book your trip. 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 entire cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of point short United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
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 hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through 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 your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your family members to 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 take into consideration making payments on them with your credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already planning to.
There are many ways to get the most out of the travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use you travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you achieve the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card bonus, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum spend to earn rewards is by using your credit card for daily expenditures. This could include 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 pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts 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 to utilize them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example, using your points to book a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. This can give you access to a wider selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out the card’s benefits. any perks that can reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method possible. Through a combination of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.