Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which can be used to score discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem 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 credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to review those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best price. It all comes down to the number of miles or points in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that provide many features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are great to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be certain to verify this information. Then you can begin to rack miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to use them towards sweet getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the providers I have experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your travel. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the full price, you can 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 flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for flights. If you’re just a few points short, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines which allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret, 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 big one! If you’re able to pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they will pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration paying them off with an credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you planning to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most out of the travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to 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
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum spend for your credit card bonus, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for the expenditures.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards to pay for everyday costs. This could include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using points to book a ticket directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. This can give an access greater selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to find out if your credit card offers certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion 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 your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient way possible. Through a combination of the methods I’ve described that you can get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.