Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s usually better 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 look into those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points in your travel account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer many advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect to use for hacking travel:
- 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 guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll have access to virtually every airline. You can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your travel. You can even book entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the total cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying using either points or dollars? Butbe aware in case you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for flights. If you’re only a couple of points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big 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%. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they can repay you.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider repaying them using your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can 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 doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with your credit card. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already thinking of.
There are many ways to get the most of your travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. Not only will you be able to meet the required amount to earn your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles for these costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards to pay everyday expenses. This could include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, think about transferring 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 also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when redeeming 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 larger range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that aren’t available through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should discover the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most effective way possible. Utilizing a combination of the methods I’ve described that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.