Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which can be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to check the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of 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 all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be perfect to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to look up this information. Then you can begin to rack miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the full cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on flights. If you’re only a couple of points short, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they will pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration paying them off with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future 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 doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with your credit card. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are many ways to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card reward, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for the expenses.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card to pay everyday costs. This could include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use points to book a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give you access to a greater range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should determine whether your credit card has any perks that can reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, 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 using this program in the most efficient method possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.