Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which you can use to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading 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 discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to check the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to check for the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some sweet vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can combine points and cash to book your trip. 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 buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of point short United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. But, 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 prove you’re really family 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 hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider making payments on them with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to make the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel and accrue points or miles to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you achieve the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on those expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spend and earn points is by utilising your credit cards to pay for daily expenditures. This can include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This will give an access larger selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should determine whether your credit card has some perks that could help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using it in the most efficient method. Utilizing all of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.