Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could 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 can be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and some knowledge, you can travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking your travel plans 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 take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best 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 check the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards with a variety of advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards perfect 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 spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. 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 points?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some nice getaway! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using dollars or points? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars for one flight. No worries though, if you’re a few points short, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re 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 a credit card, do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they can pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration making payments on them with your credit card. Make sure to pay 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 see if they have any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already planning to.
There are many ways to get the most from your travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card bonus and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenditures.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is using your credit card to pay for daily expenses. This can include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for certain types 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 routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a ticket directly with the airline could 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 points to other loyalty programs. This will let you have a wider range of options and greater flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This gives an access greater selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover whether your credit card has any perks that can reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.