Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which you can use to get discounted or even free flights to your ideal destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to look into the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the most value. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide a variety of advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are 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
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to look up this information. From there you can begin to rack up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to use them towards delicious getaway! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal 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 book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the total cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points away, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines which allows customers to book using 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 family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your family members to pay for theirs and they’ll repay you.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider making payments on them with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you planning to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most from the travel credit card. earn miles or points to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the required amount to earn your credit card reward, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for the costs.
Use your credit card for all your daily costs
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by utilising your credit cards to pay every day expenses. This could be items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example, using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a hotel rewards program. This can give you access to a larger range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that aren’t offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should determine if your credit card offers 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 invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a friend and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards separately.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.