Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which you can use to get discounted or even free flights to your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing 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 less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to check the frequent flyer account and determine which airline offers you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide many features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be great to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make certain to verify this information. From there you can begin to rack up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can use a combination of points and cash to book your travel. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points away, United also offers the option of buying 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 more legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature where you can pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can 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 or my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. Don’t worry 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 for your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they will repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about paying them off with an credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with your credit card. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already contemplating to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel and accumulate miles or points that you can use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of the travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the required amount for your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenditures.
Use your credit card for everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by using your credit card for daily costs. This could be things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give the benefit of a wider range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks which are not accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, determine whether your credit card has some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most effective method. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.