Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which can be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some information, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase 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 success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to look into those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide a variety of features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are essential 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 or debit card, you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make certain to verify the details. Then, it’s all about racking miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to use them towards delicious vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can use a combination of money and points to pay for your trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire price, you can purchase flights through 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 flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine points and dollars for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few points away, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member 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 daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret, 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! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay 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 due, ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they can repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration making payments on them with an credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and look into any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already planning to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most of the travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by making use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses. This could include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
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 evaluate the value of different redemption options. For instance using points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may give you a better return than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This can give an access wider variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover whether your credit card has any perks that can save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card, and be sure to 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 the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most effective way possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.