Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to review those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide a variety of benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to check for the details. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards sweet getaway! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to virtually every airline, and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It may be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they can reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider repaying them using the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to get the most out of the travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card reward as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards to pay daily expenses. This could be things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, like dining or travel. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This can give you access to a wider variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out whether your credit card has some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of it in the most efficient method possible. By using all of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.