Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which can be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll 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 later be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to look into those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide various advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be perfect 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 need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make certain to verify the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to use them towards sweet vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have an Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can use a combination of money and points to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful, if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re a few points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they’ll pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration making payments on them with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already planning to.
There are many ways to make the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. Not only will you achieve the minimum spend to earn your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by using your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures. This can include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Be sure to 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 miles or bonus points for specific 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.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant 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 worth of various redemption options. For example, using points to book a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This can give you access to a larger variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should discover whether your credit card has some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to get rewards on your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using it in the most effective method possible. Through an array of strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.