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 which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to look into the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles in your travel 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 an account with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer various features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are great for travel hacking:
- 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 need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to check for the details. From there it’s all about building miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your next 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 total price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for flights. If you’re just a few points away, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried 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 big one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It might be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they will repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans, consider paying them off with an credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and look into any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with your credit card. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. accumulate miles or points that you can spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you achieve the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these expenditures.
Use your credit card for everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is using your credit card to pay daily expenditures. This could be items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a credit card, think about transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could offer better value than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This gives an access larger selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card, and be 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 the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re using this program in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.