Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which you can use to score discounted or free flights to 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 all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to check your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide various benefits 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 cards excellent 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 limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to look up the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards sweet getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the providers I have experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can even book completely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using dollars or points? But, be careful, if you do not have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for one flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of point short United provides 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 which allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through 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 credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they will repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration making payments on them with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using your credit card. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already planning to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card reward as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards to pay for daily expenses. This could include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. This gives an access greater range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, find out the card’s benefits. any perks that can save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as 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 with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re using this program in the most effective method. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.