Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which can be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free 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 then be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost 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 above $500, you’ll want to look into your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide various benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are perfect to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to check for this information. Then it’s all about building up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some nice travel! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can book your flight 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 full cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points short, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3%. It may be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans, consider making payments on them with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to look into any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to make the most out of the travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you achieve the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards to pay every day costs. This could include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
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. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using points to book a flight directly with the airline could offer better value than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you enjoy a greater variety 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 a reward program for hotels. This will give an access wider selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out if your credit card offers any perks that can help you save money on travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a companion, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method. By using all of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.