Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which can be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little imagination and some information, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn 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 rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight consider the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to review those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide various advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards perfect for travel hacking:
- 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 reach the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to use them towards sweet vacation! 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. Through this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can combine money and points to pay for your travel. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of point short United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through 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 pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they’ll repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about paying them off with an credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing it.
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 meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not 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 use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the required amount for your credit card reward, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card for everyday expenses. This could include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example, using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This gives the benefit of a larger variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should determine whether your credit card has certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most effective method. Through all of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.