Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which you can use to score discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly 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 best price. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide many advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards great to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. Then it’s all about building up miles, and 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 the points amount, it’s time to use them towards delicious vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can use a combination of money and points to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points on one flight. If you’re only a couple of points away, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s which 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 join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, go for it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up, ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they can reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider paying them off with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to get the most from the travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the required amount for your credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is by using your credit card for everyday costs. This could be things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to book a ticket directly through the airline may give you a better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This will give the benefit of a larger range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that aren’t accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should determine the card’s benefits. some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card, and be sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using it in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.