Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to score discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to check your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the most value. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer many benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are excellent 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 reach the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make certain to verify this information. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some nice vacation! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are a few examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire cost, you still can 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 your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on one flight. If you’re a few points away, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry, 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 pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your family members to pay for theirs and they will reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans, consider making payments on them with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you planning to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most out of your travel credit card. earn miles or points to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum spend for your credit card reward, but you’ll also earn points or miles for those costs.
Use your credit card for everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card for every day expenditures. This could be items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from 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 the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, think about transferring that 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, and also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could offer better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer 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 will give an access greater selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should determine whether your credit card has certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related expenses. A lot of credit cards provide 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 and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective way possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.