Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to check the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with various benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are excellent 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 qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make certain to verify the details. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to use them towards nice vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for flights. No worries though, if you’re a few points short, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your family members to pay for theirs and they will reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about making payments on them with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all 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 paying more than you contemplating to.
There are many ways to make the most from the travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only achieve the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles for the expenses.
Use your credit card for everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points using your credit card for everyday expenditures. This can include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to book a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This can give you access to a greater variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to determine whether your credit card has certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a friend each of you will be able to get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.