Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little 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 all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to review those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn 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 that provide many features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to check for the details. Then, it’s all about racking miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet travel! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can combine money and points to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with 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. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few point short United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due then ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they can pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about making payments on them with an credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to look into any large expenses coming up that you can contribute 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 using your credit card. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most from your travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. Not only will you achieve the required amount to earn your credit card reward as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on these costs.
Use your credit card for everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spend to earn rewards is making use of your credit card for every day costs. This could include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example using points to book a flight directly through the airline may offer better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a wider selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should determine if your credit card offers certain benefits that will 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 with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most effective method possible. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve listed that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.