Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key 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 comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price 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 look into the frequent flyer account and determine which airline offers you the best price. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer various benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be 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 or debit card, you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to look up the details. From there it’s all about building up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards delicious getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, 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 are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points away, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they can repay you.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about making payments on them with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were thinking of.
There are a lot of methods to get the most out of the travel credit card and earn miles or points to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum spend for your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on these expenditures.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement and earn points is making use of your credit card for every day expenses. This can include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, like dining or travel. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Take into consideration 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 to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This will give you access to a larger range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that aren’t accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, find out if your credit card offers certain benefits that will reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.