Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which can be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little imagination and some information, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to review those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer many features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to check for the details. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have an Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a 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 pay a fee, usually around 3%. It might be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up, ask your family members to pay for theirs and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off a 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 completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you contemplating to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most from the travel credit card and accrue points or miles to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum spend to earn your credit card reward, but you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenses.
Use your credit card for everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by utilising your credit cards to pay every day costs. This could be things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points 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 value of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This can give an access larger range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that aren’t accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient way possible. Through all of the methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.