Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which you can use to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
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 later be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to check the frequent flyer account to see which airline can give you the best deal. It all comes down to the number of miles or points in your travel account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer a variety of benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are perfect to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be certain to verify the details. From there it’s all about building up miles, and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some nice getaway! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. 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 total price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for one flight. If you’re just a few points short, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines which 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 where you can combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll pay you back.
Repay the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about repaying them using an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for gift giving. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already planning to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most from your travel credit card. accrue points or miles to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for the expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to meet the minimum spend to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card for daily expenditures. This can include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, think about transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a reward program for hotels. This will give an access wider range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that may not be accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to determine whether your credit card has some perks that could help you save money on travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card and make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using it in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.