Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which you can use to get discounted or even cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, 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 as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to look into the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the most value. It all boils down to the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer a variety of features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be certain to verify this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet vacation! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase credit card, then you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using 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 with dollars or points? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points on the same flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few points away, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines which 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 pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can 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 buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they can reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about paying them off with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to look into any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are many methods to get the most of the travel credit card. earn miles or points to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only achieve the minimum spend to earn your credit card reward and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on the costs.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by using your credit card to pay every day costs. This could include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using points to book a ticket directly with the airline might 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 reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a hotel rewards program. This will give you access to a wider variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover whether your credit card has some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card and make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective way possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.