Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles that can then be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to look into your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be excellent to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. Then it’s all about building up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some nice getaway! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the total cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? But, be careful in case you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few point short United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it 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 your rent with credit card, go for it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It might be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your family members to pay for theirs and they will pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about making payments on them with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already contemplating to.
There are many methods to get the most of your travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card, but you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenditures.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is making use of your credit card to pay daily expenditures. This can include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a ticket directly with the airline might offer better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem 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 can give an access greater selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be available through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should find out if your credit card offers certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using this program in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.