Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which can be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little creativity and some insider knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to review your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many advantages and features. 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 a few credit cards perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to check for this information. From there it’s all about building up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards delicious travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your travel. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the entire cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points short, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there 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! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they’ll pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider repaying them using your credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are 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 your gifts using your credit card. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already planning to.
There are many methods to get the most of the travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum spend for your credit card reward, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by making use of your credit card to pay every day expenses. This can include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, like dining or travel. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or hotel rewards program. This can give the benefit of a larger selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover if your credit card offers some perks that could help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance and 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 credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most effective method. Through all of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.