Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which can be used to get discounted or even free flights to your dream destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to review the frequent flyer account and determine which airline offers you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with various features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial 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 card, you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to look up the details. Then, it’s all about racking miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet getaway! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the full price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars on one flight. If you’re just a few points short, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
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 be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they’ll pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration repaying them using your credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to look into any large expenses coming up 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 know 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. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already planning to.
There are many ways to make the most out of the travel credit card. accrue points or miles to use towards 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
If you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by using your credit card to pay everyday expenditures. This could include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, such as dining or travel. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, think about transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance, using points to book a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. This gives the benefit of a wider selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover if your credit card offers certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot 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 rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method. By using all of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.