Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which you can use to get discounted or even cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little creativity and some insider information, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to look into your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the most value. It all boils down to the number of points or miles 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 opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards with various advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some 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 card, you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to check for this information. From there it’s all about building up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some nice travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to join your points with your family members and earn 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 buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they can pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about repaying them using the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you thinking of.
There are many ways to make the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accumulate miles or points that you can spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the required amount for your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards for every day costs. This can include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater return than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give an access wider selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to discover whether your credit card has any perks that can reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.