Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles that can then be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and some knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses 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 allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally 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 check the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide many features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are great to use for hacking travel:
- 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 have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be certain to verify the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can combine money and points to pay for your trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full 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 fed up 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 dollars or points? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for one flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can join 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 like me or my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share some of 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, go for it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they will reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about paying them off with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing this.
If it’s 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 to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of your travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for those expenditures.
Use your credit card for everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is making use of your credit card to pay for every day expenses. This could include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example, using points to book a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This will give an access larger selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, discover whether your credit card has some perks that could help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a friend and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to track your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of it in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.