Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and some information, you’ll be jet-setting for free 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. The miles can be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to check your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide various benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are great 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 limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. Then it’s all about building miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some delicious vacation! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to virtually every airline. You can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your travel. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful 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 a few points away, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it 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 pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they will repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about making payments on them with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season, consider 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. Be sure to avoid paying more than you thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to get the most of the travel credit card and accrue points or miles to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these expenses.
Use your credit card for all your daily costs
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by using your credit card to pay for every day expenditures. This could be things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, think about transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For example using points to book a ticket directly through the airline may offer better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This can give an access greater selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should discover if your credit card offers some perks that could help you save money on travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most effective method. Utilizing an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.