Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which can be used to score discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best price. It all boils down to the number of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer many advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be perfect to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to look up this information. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your travel. You can even book completely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few point short United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you join 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 the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually about 3%. It might be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they will reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration making payments on them with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were thinking of.
There are many ways to get the most out of the travel credit card. earn miles or points to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the required amount to earn your credit card reward as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those expenses.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is using your credit card to pay for every day expenses. This could include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, like dining or travel. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give you access to a greater variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should determine whether your credit card has some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card, and be 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 know your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using it in the most efficient method. By using a combination of the methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.