Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which can be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to review those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with various 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 card options that can be excellent to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. Then it’s all about building up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can make use of a combination of money and points to book your next trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful, if 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 gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they’ll reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider paying them off with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were planning to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most out of your travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the required amount to earn your credit card and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles for the costs.
Use your credit card for everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards to pay for everyday expenditures. This can include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For instance using your points to book a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This will give you access to a wider variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover the card’s benefits. any perks that can 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 can be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most effective method possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.