Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a 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 which you can use to get discounted or even cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to review those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that provide many features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are perfect to hack 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 need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, 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 set sail with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice travel! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not 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 using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for flights. If you’re only a couple of points away, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing 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 that lets you join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, go for it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about repaying them using an credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to make the most out of your travel credit card and earn miles or points to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only achieve the minimum spend to earn your credit card, but you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenses.
Use your credit card for everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards to pay for everyday costs. This could be things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This can give the benefit of a larger selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, discover if your credit card offers certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as 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 with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to track your rewards separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing all of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.