Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. 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 complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, 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 and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
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 on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to check your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer 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 card options that can be excellent 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 receive the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. Then it’s all about building up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards nice travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve worked with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can make use of a combination of money and points to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the full price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for one flight. If you’re only a couple of points short, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they can repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration making payments on them with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all 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 spending more than you were planning to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most from the travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. Not only will you achieve the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on the expenses.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards to pay for every day expenses. This could include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use points to book a ticket directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them for a 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 have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. This will give you access to a greater variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine whether your credit card has any perks that can save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a friend and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most efficient method possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve listed that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.