Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which you can use to score discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little imagination and some know-how, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to 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 it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to check your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide a variety of features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect to use for hacking travel:
- 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 hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to look up this information. From there it’s all about building up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards delicious vacation! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase credit card, then you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can use a combination of points and cash to book your next trip. You can even book completely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying using either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for the same flight. If you’re only a couple of points short, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines which allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It may be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your family members to pay for theirs and they will reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans, consider paying them off with your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they know why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were thinking of.
There are many methods to get the most out of your travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for those expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is making use of your credit card to pay every day expenditures. This can include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to book a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater return than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give you access to a greater variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, find out if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
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. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.