Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to review those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with various advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are excellent 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 card you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. Then it’s all about building up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you tired 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? But, be careful that if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for one flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy 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 credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It might be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they can pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration paying them off with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with 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. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most out of the travel credit card. accrue points or miles to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles on those costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by using your credit card for daily expenses. This could include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to 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 let you pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater return than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This gives an access larger range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that may not be offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, find out if your credit card offers some perks that could reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using this program in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.