Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which you can use to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to review those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with various features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are excellent to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to look up this information. From there, it’s all about racking miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, it’s time to use them towards nice getaway! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve worked with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to virtually every airline and you can make use of a combination of money and points to book your next trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for 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 tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Butbe aware in case you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few point short United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. 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 big one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due then ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they will repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration paying them off with an credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute 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 you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you planning to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most of the travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only achieve the minimum spend for your credit card as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on these expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards for daily costs. This can include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, like dining or travel. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points 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 compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or hotel rewards program. This can give an access greater range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to find out whether your credit card has some perks that could help you save money on travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re using this program in the most effective method. Through all of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.