Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles that can then be used to get discounted or even free flights to your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll travel 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 then be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to review the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the most value. All it boils down to is the number of miles or points in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer various features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to look up the details. From there, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful in case you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points short, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable 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 dollar or points, but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and we’re 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, then do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they will reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans, consider making payments on them with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you thinking of.
There are many methods to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the required amount to earn your credit card as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses. This can include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, including dining or travel. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use your points to book a ticket directly through the airline may offer better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This will give an access larger range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that aren’t accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, determine the card’s benefits. some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with 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 know the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.