Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which can be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group 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 best to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to check the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with many benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be excellent to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. From there it’s all about building miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the entire cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using dollars or points? But, be careful, if you do not have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars on the same flight. If you’re only a couple of points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they can repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration paying them off with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and look into 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 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. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you contemplating to.
There are many methods to get the most of the travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of you travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the costs.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenses
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay daily expenses. This can include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example using your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may offer better return than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This gives you access to a larger selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover whether your credit card has certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a companion and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.