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 woes. It’s a fun way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which can be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to look into those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be great to hack 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 qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. Then it’s all about building up miles, and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to use them towards sweet getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can make use of a combination of money and points to book your trip. You can even book completely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few point short United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It may be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they will reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration making payments on them with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already planning to.
There are many methods to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accrue points or miles to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you achieve the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards 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 each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For example using points to book a ticket directly with the airline could give you a better return than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or hotel rewards program. This will give an access wider range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that may not be offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a friend and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most efficient method. Through a combination of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.