Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles that can then be used to get discounted or even free flights to your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or 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 a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to review the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to look up this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to use them towards delicious travel! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can use a combination of money and points to pay for your next trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the total price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful in case you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on the same flight. If you’re just a few point short United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they can reimburse you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration repaying them using your credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have 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 understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are many methods to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card reward and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for the costs.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card to pay daily expenses. This could be things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, including dining or travel. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use your points to book a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a reward program for hotels. This will give you access to a greater selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should discover if your credit card offers some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with someone else each of you will be able to get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing a combination of the methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.