Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which you can use to get discounted or even free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to check those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the most value. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer many advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be great for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify the details. Then it’s all about building up miles, and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some nice getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to virtually every airline, and you can use a combination of money and points to pay for your travel. You can even book completely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying with either points or dollars? But, be careful in case you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points short, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried 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 a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It might be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due then ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they’ll pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about paying them off with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they understand why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already contemplating to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card bonus, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is making use of your credit card to pay daily expenses. This can include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, such as 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.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto 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, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives an access wider variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using it in the most effective method possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.