Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to look into the frequent flyer account to see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide various features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be certain to verify the details. Then you can begin to rack miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards sweet getaway! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve worked with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying using dollars or points? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on flights. If you’re just a few points away, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 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 way to reach the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your family members to pay for theirs and they will reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about making payments on them with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you thinking of.
There are a lot of methods to get the most of your travel credit card and earn miles or points to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only achieve the required amount to qualify for a credit card reward as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spend and earn points is using your credit card to pay everyday expenditures. This can include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might give you a better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This gives an access greater variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. any perks that can reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using this program in the most effective method possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.