Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which you can use to score discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to check the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the best price. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide various advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are perfect to hack travel
- 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 qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be certain to verify this information. Then it’s all about building up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to use them towards delicious getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can use a combination of money and points to book your travel. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire 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 flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on flights. No worries though, if you’re just a few points away, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It may be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they will pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration paying them off with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were thinking of.
There are many ways to get the most from the travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
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, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the required amount for your credit card bonus as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card for everyday expenses. This could include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance using points to book a ticket directly through the airline may offer better return than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or reward program for hotels. This gives an access larger selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, find out the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a friend, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.