Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which can be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to look into those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points in your travel account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer a variety of features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards great 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 limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify the details. From there, it’s all about racking miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards delicious getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can use a combination of money and points to book your next trip. You can even book completely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the entire cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points away, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It might be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they’ll pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration paying them off with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to look into any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using your credit card. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already planning to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most out of the travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the required amount to earn your credit card bonus, but you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards to pay for daily expenses. This can include things like gas, groceries, and 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 bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, including dining or travel. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, consider transferring the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using your points to book a flight directly through the airline may offer better return than using them for the purchase of a 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 get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a reward program for hotels. This will give the benefit of a larger range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, determine whether your credit card has some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card and make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re using this program in the most efficient method. Through an array of strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.