Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which can be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight consider the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to review your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide various benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most essential 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
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to look up the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve worked with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order 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 full cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using 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 of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few point short United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature where you can join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. 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 hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3%. It might be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they can pay you back.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider paying them off with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already planning to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum spend to earn your credit card reward, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by using your credit card to pay for daily costs. This could be things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, such as dining or travel. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
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 transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a reward program for hotels. This will give the benefit of a wider variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to determine whether your credit card has certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most efficient way possible. By using a combination of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.