Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles that can then be used to score discounted or cheap flights from 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 all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to check your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best price. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles 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 opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer various benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are great for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make certain to verify the details. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some nice getaway! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can use a combination of money and points to book your next trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got 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 purchase flights through 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 realize that when booking 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 cannot combine dollars and points for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re a few points short, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant 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 however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you combine your points with your relatives to earn 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 or my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually around 3%. It may be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll repay you.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about paying them off with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to see if they have any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you planning to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most out of the travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. 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, use your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card to pay for every day expenses. This could include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a flight directly through the airline may offer better return than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a reward program for hotels. This can give you access to a greater range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should determine the card’s benefits. any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a companion each of you will be able to get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most effective method possible. By using an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.