Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which can be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little imagination and some know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb 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 points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer a variety of benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most important 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 need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to check for this information. From there it’s all about building miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to virtually every airline. You can combine points and cash 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 don’t have enough points to cover the entire cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine points and dollars on the same flight. If you’re a few point short United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be 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 frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3%. It might be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they can repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration paying them off with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts using cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to make the most of your travel credit card. earn miles or points to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum spend for your credit card as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spend to earn rewards is by using your credit card to pay everyday costs. This could be things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial 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 worth of various redemption options. For example, using points to book a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This gives you access to a wider range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover the card’s benefits. some perks that could reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from 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 effective method possible. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.