Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which you can use to get discounted or even cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some information, you’ll travel 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 then be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to look into your frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. 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 crucial 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
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. From there you can begin to rack miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the total cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware in case you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on the same flight. If you’re a few points away, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It might be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up then ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they’ll repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration paying them off with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are many ways to get the most from your travel credit card and accrue points or miles to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to meet the minimum spend in order to accumulate points using your credit card to pay for every day expenditures. This can include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, like dining or travel. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring 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 help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could provide you with a greater return than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give you access to a greater range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine if your credit card offers certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most efficient way possible. Through an array of methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.