Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which you can use to score discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to review your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with a variety of advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards excellent to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to check for this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to use them towards sweet vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can use a combination of points and cash to book your travel. You can even book entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the full price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on one flight. If you’re only a couple of points away, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into 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 frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they will repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration making payments on them with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
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 taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already planning to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel and earn miles or points to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum spend to earn your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenditures.
Use your credit card for everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards to pay for everyday costs. This could include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
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 then compare the value of different redemption options. For example, using points to book a ticket directly through the airline may provide you with a greater return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This will give an access larger variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to find out the card’s benefits. any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing 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 enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.