Are you fed up of spending 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 credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little creativity and some insider information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to review the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that offer many benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial 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
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to check for the details. Then you can begin to rack miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards nice travel! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the total cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for flights. No worries though, if you’re just a few point short United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they’ll repay you.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration making payments on them with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they understand why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts using the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already planning to.
There are many ways to make the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenditures.
Use your credit card for everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by using your credit card to pay for every day expenditures. This could be things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example using your points to book a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a hotel rewards program. This gives an access wider range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that may not be accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to find out if your credit card offers any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a companion, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most effective method possible. Through a combination of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.