Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles that can then be used to get discounted or even free flights to your ideal destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to look into your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide a variety of features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are excellent to hack travel
- 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 limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to check for the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can make use of a combination of points and cash 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 don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every 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 of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on the same flight. If you’re only a couple of points away, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Make sure to 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 like me or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they’ll repay you.
Repay the loan
If you have any loans, consider repaying them using an credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to 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 understand why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can hit that minimum spend and be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are many ways to get the most from the travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for those costs.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenses
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by making use of your credit card to pay every day costs. This can include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a hotel rewards program. This gives the benefit of a larger range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of it in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.