Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which can be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to look into the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the best price. It all comes down to the number of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer various advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most essential 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 card, you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be certain to verify the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to use them towards nice vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve worked with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the total cost, you still can book flights using 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 your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points on one flight. No worries though, if you’re a few point short United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there 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 be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they will reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration repaying them using the credit card you have. Make 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 look into any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts using your credit card. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already planning to.
There are many methods to get the most out of the travel credit card and earn miles or points to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum spend for your credit card, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spend and earn points is utilising your credit cards for everyday expenditures. This could be items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, like dining or travel. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance, using points to book a ticket directly with the airline might offer better value than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give you access to a greater variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should find out if your credit card offers some perks that could reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using this program in the most effective method possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.