Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles that can then be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to review your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best price. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards great 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 hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to look up the details. From there, it’s all about racking miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards sweet travel! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for the same flight. 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? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn the 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 big one! If you’re able pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It might be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up then ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they will reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about paying them off with your credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they understand why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already planning to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most out of the travel credit card. accrue points or miles to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum spend to earn your credit card bonus as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on these costs.
Use your credit card for everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards for everyday expenditures. This can include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could offer better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give the benefit of a larger selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should discover if your credit card offers certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most effective method possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.