Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which you can use to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles 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 usually better to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to review your frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer many advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards sweet vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to almost 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 don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn a 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 a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they can reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration making payments on them with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they understand why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of the travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only achieve the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card, but you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenses.
Use your credit card for everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spend to earn rewards is by using your credit card to pay everyday expenses. This could include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For example using your points to book a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This gives an access larger range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks which are not available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to determine the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient way possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve listed that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.