Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to look into the frequent flyer account and determine which airline offers you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide a variety of benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be 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 spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to look up this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to use them towards delicious getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can use a combination of money and points to pay for your trip. You can even book completely 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 price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for one flight. If you’re a few point short United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines which allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can 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 anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, go for it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they can reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider repaying them using your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you contemplating to.
There are many ways to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum spend for your credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is using your credit card to pay daily expenses. This could be things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, consider transferring the balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This gives the benefit of a larger range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that may not be accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should determine if your credit card offers certain benefits that will reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to get rewards on your own 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 travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most efficient way possible. Through an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.