Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which can be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to look into those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer many benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make certain to verify this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles, and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from a few of the companies I have experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline. You can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got 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 are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine points and dollars for one flight. If you’re only a couple of point short United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, then do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they can reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration making payments on them with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can hit that minimum spend and be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already contemplating to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most of the travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum spend for your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for those expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card to pay every day costs. This can include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of 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 high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example, using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This gives you access to a larger variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, determine whether your credit card has some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most efficient way possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.