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Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll travel for free in no time.

The Basics of Travel Hacking

Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.

How Does it Work?

The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to check the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.

Start with Travel Hacking

Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that provide a variety of benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.

Top Credit Card Picks

Here are a few 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 guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to book your dream trip!

Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?

Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some nice travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:

Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward

If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can use a combination of money and points to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.

 

United

Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points for the same flight. If you’re only a couple of points away, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.

JetBlue

Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines which allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.

Reach that Minimum Spend

If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.

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Pay your rent (if you can)

This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.

Make a payment on a medical expense

Another excellent way to meet 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 will reimburse you.

Repay the loan

If you have any loans you owe, think about repaying them using the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.

Ask your family members for help

Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing this.

Purchase gifts

If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you planning to.

There are a lot of methods to get the most of the travel credit card and accrue points or miles to 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

Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll achieve the required amount for your credit card bonus, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these costs.

Use your credit card for all your daily expenses

Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points using your credit card to pay daily expenditures. This could include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.

Take advantage of bonus categories

Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, including dining or travel. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.

Take into consideration a balance transfer

If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.

Use your points or miles wisely

When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For instance, using points to book a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them to purchase an gift card.

Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a larger range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that may not be available through the rewards program on your credit card.

Also, discover if your credit card offers any perks that can help you save money on travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.

If you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.

In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing all of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.