Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to score discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a little creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to review your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best price. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards with various benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards excellent to hack 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 have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to check for the details. From there it’s all about building up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards nice travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can use a combination of points and cash to book your trip. You can even book 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 cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points on flights. If you’re only a couple of points away, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature where you can join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into 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 difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through 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 pay a fee, usually about 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they’ll pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration making payments on them with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
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 gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are a lot of methods to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel and accumulate miles or points that you can use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of your travel credit card for booking 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 reward, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for the expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by using your credit card to pay for every day expenses. This can include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might give you a better return than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety 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 a hotel rewards program. This can give an access larger selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, find out whether your credit card has any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with 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 using your credit card in the most effective method. Through all of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.