Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which you can use to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little imagination and some information, 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. These miles can later be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight consider the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to review your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards with a variety of features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few 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 card, you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify this information. From there, it’s all about racking miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve worked with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can use a combination of money and points to book your travel. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not 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 cash using every 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 have the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re 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 spend for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they’ll pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider making payments on them with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts using cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already planning to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of the travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover those expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spend and earn points is by making use of your credit card to pay for every day expenses. This could 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
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about 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 an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This will give the benefit of a wider selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, determine the card’s benefits. any perks that can reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most effective method possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.