Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to review the frequent flyer account and determine which airline offers you the best price. It all boils down to the number of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that provide various advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect for travel hacking:
- 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 limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make certain to verify this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to use them towards sweet getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on the same flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few point short United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they’ll reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration making payments on them with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they understand why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid paying more than you thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll achieve the required amount for your credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on these expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to meet the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards to pay for every day expenditures. This could be things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. 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 the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a reward program for hotels. This can give you access to a larger selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover if your credit card offers some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most efficient way possible. Through an array of strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.