Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which can be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide various features and benefits. 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 excellent to use for hacking travel:
- 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 qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be certain to verify the details. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some nice travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the providers I have experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of point short United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. 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 to pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they will pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about making payments on them with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and look into any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to get the most out of the travel credit card and earn miles or points to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum spend for your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spend and earn points is by using your credit card to pay for every day expenses. This could include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, including 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.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using your points to book a flight directly through the airline may give you a better return than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This can give you access to a larger selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, determine if your credit card offers any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with 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 your credit card in the most effective method possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.