Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to look into those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide various features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to look up the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can use a combination of points and cash to book your next trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the full price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points for flights. If you’re a few points short, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and we’re 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 credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It may be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they can pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration making payments on them with your credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts with your credit card. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you contemplating to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most out of the travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ways to maximize 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 or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spend and earn points is utilising your credit cards to pay every day expenditures. This can include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, including dining or travel. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using points to book a flight directly with the airline could offer better return than using them for the purchase of 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 have a wider range 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 a Hotel rewards programme. This gives an access greater variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to find out whether your credit card has any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a companion and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to keep track of the rewards you earn 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 to ensure you’re using this program in the most efficient method possible. By using a combination of the methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.