Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which you can use to score discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful 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 it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to look into the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with a variety of benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards excellent to hack 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 reach the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards sweet travel! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can even book completely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on the same flight. If you’re only a couple of points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to 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 quite thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration making payments on them with an credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and look into any large 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 are aware of the reason for doing it.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already planning to.
There are many methods to get the most out of your travel credit card. accrue points or miles to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles for these costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by using your credit card to pay every day expenditures. This could be things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example using points to book a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a reward program for hotels. This can give an access greater range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, discover whether your credit card has certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.