Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which can be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some information, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking consider the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to look into your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best price. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards with a variety of features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are great to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. From there it’s all about building up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some nice travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, 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 pay for your next trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the entire cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
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, if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on one flight. If you’re a few points away, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your family members to pay for theirs and they can reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about repaying them using the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them 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 doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already planning to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card reward, but you’ll also earn points or miles for those costs.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spend in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card to pay every day expenditures. This can include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also 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 miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example you can use points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater return 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 will allow you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a reward program for hotels. This will give an access wider range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that may not be available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, determine if your credit card offers some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do 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 effective method possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.