Are you fed up 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 an exciting way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to get discounted or even free flights to your desired destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to check your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer various advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect 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 qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase credit card, then you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can use a combination of points and cash to book your travel. You can even book entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any 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 can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points away, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It might be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they can repay you.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration paying them off with your credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are 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 using your credit card. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most of the travel credit card and accrue points or miles to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is making use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses. This could include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about 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 and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example using your points to book a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. This will give you access to a larger variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should discover whether your credit card has any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most effective method possible. Through 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 range of travel perks.