Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which can be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some information, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to check those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best deal. It all comes down to the number of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer a variety of benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards great to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to look up the details. Then it’s all about building miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to use them towards nice travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your travel. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using 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 with dollars or points? Be careful that if you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on one flight. If you’re just a few points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they can repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans, consider repaying them using your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to look into any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you contemplating to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most of the travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card reward, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for these expenditures.
Use your credit card for everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum spend to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card to pay daily expenses. This could include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, such as dining or travel. 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, you might want to transfer that balance onto the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use points to book a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows 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 redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give an access larger variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, discover if your credit card offers any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most efficient way possible. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.