Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which can be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to look into the frequent flyer account to see which airline can give you the best price. It all boils down to the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide a variety of features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial 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 have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make certain to verify the details. From there it’s all about building miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies 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 with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on flights. If you’re a few points away, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your family members to pay for theirs and they will pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider repaying them using an credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to look into 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 know why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most from your travel credit card. accrue points or miles to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use your travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum spend to earn your credit card, but you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by making use of your credit card to pay for daily costs. This can include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example using your points to book a flight directly through the airline may offer better return than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or reward program for hotels. This gives an access larger range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that may not be offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, find out the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re making use of it in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.