Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which can be used to score discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a little imagination and some know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to look into the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide a variety of advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are great to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify this information. Then it’s all about building up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to virtually every airline, and you can use a combination of money and points to book your travel. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few point short United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they’ll repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans, consider paying them off with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and look into any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to 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 you should consider purchasing all your gifts using cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you planning to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel and accumulate miles or points that you can spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the required amount to earn your credit card reward as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spend in order to accumulate points using your credit card to pay everyday expenditures. This could include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater return than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. This can give you access to a wider variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be available through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a friend and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using this program in the most effective method possible. Through all of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.