Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which can be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to check the frequent flyer account and determine which airline offers you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer many advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect 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 or debit card, you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. Then, it’s all about racking miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards delicious vacation! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can use a combination of money and points to book your travel. You can even book entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine points and dollars on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they will repay you.
Pay off the 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 accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any large 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 doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with your credit card. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were planning to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most out of your travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. Not only will you achieve the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spend in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card to pay everyday expenses. This could be things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example, using points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This will give you access to a greater range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that may not be available through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should discover whether your credit card has any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.