Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could 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 get discounted or even free flights to your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to look into those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer a variety of benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect to use for hacking travel:
- 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 qualify for the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. Then, it’s all about racking miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you do not have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. 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 an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your relatives if you could 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 making payments on them with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to look into any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most of using your credit or debit card for travel and accumulate miles or points that you can spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the required amount to earn your credit card reward, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for the costs.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards to pay for every day costs. This can 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
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, like dining or travel. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. 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 through the airline may offer better return than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a hotel rewards program. This gives the benefit of a wider variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out the card’s benefits. some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a friend and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re using this program in the most efficient method. By using an array of methods I’ve described that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.