Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which you can use to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to look into those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards with various features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card, you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to check for the details. From there, it’s all about racking miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
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 redeem them for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve worked with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points on the same flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few point short United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for 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 big one! If you’re able pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they can pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration repaying them using the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid paying more than you contemplating to.
There are many methods to get the most out of the travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use you travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum spend to earn your credit card and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles on those costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card for everyday costs. This could include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also 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 points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance, using points to book a ticket directly with the airline could offer better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This will give an access wider selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t available through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should find out whether your credit card has any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most effective method. Through all of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.