Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which you can use to get discounted or even free flights to your desired destinations. With a little creativity and some insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to review those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount 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 to travel hacking? Your first task is to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect 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 need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be certain to verify this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some nice travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve worked with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can make use of a combination of money and points to book your travel. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with either points or dollars? But, be careful in case you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up then ask your family members to pay for theirs and they will reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the 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 accrue additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel and accrue points or miles to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card reward and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on the costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards for daily costs. This could include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could provide you with a greater return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This can give the benefit of a larger range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that may not be available through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should find out if your credit card offers any perks that can save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient way possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.