Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to check your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with various advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be excellent 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 or debit card, you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. Then, it’s all about racking miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some nice travel! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the full cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful that if you do not have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for flights. If you’re a few point short United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the required spending is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they’ll reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration repaying them using an credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Just make sure you trust the person and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying 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 a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card, but you’ll also earn points or miles on the expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by using your credit card for everyday costs. This can include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, 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 suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. This can give the benefit of a larger selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, find out if your credit card offers some perks that could reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with someone else and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to track your rewards separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re making use of it in the most effective method possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.