Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which can be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some information, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to review those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers 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? Your first task is to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with various features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards great for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make certain to verify the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some nice vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware in case you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on one flight. If you’re a few point short United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct 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 the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your family members to pay for theirs and they can reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider paying them off with an credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and look into any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already planning to.
There are many ways to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel and accumulate miles or points that you can spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of the travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the required amount to earn your credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay for every day costs. This can include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone 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 points in exchange for specific types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give you access to a greater selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out the card’s benefits. some perks that could help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.