Are you fed up 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 way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which can be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to review the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the most value. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with various features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most important 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
If you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to check for this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet getaway! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are a few examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your travel. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? But, be careful, if you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points short, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as fast. 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 like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they can repay you.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about making payments on them with an credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and see if they have any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already planning to.
There are many methods to get the most of the travel credit card. accrue points or miles to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you achieve the required amount to qualify for a credit card reward, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is using your credit card to pay daily expenditures. This could include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you 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 bonus points for specific types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to book a ticket directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or reward program for hotels. This will give you access to a greater selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to determine if your credit card offers some perks that could help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with someone else and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using it in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.