Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which can be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program 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 usually better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to look into your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer a variety of advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be perfect to hack travel
- 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 reach the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. From there, it’s all about racking miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious travel! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to virtually every airline, and you can combine points and cash to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars on flights. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re here to share 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 a credit card, do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for an 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 reimburse you.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about repaying them using an credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. accrue points or miles to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover those expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spend and earn points is using your credit card for daily expenses. This can include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various 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 the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This will give the benefit of a greater selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover if your credit card offers certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card, and be sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.