Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles that can then be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to check your frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards great 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 need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make certain to verify this information. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to use them towards delicious vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the total cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points short, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Make sure to 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 quite thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re 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! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It may be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they will repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about repaying them using an credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got 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 are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already planning to.
There are many ways to make the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accrue points or miles to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card bonus, but you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending and earn points is using your credit card to pay everyday costs. This can include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
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 that balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example, using points to book a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This will give an access larger range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. some perks that could help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most effective method possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.