Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which can be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to check the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the most value. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards with various features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are excellent to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. From there, 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 goals?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some nice travel! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can make use of a combination of money and points to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t 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 tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on the same flight. No worries though, if you’re a few points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
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 hit the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they can repay you.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider repaying them using an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be prepared to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most from the travel credit card. accrue points or miles to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only achieve the required amount to earn your credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover the costs.
Use your credit card for everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spend to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card to pay everyday expenses. This could be things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a reward program for hotels. This gives an access wider range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that may not be offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, discover if your credit card offers any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using this program in the most effective method possible. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.