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Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which can be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.

The Basics of Travel Hacking

Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental discounts.

How Does it Work?

The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to look into the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all comes down to the number of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.

Start with Travel Hacking

Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with a variety of advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are crucial to you.

Top Credit Card Picks

Here are a few credit cards that are excellent for travel hacking:

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve
  • Chase United Explorer
  • JetBlue Mastercard
  • Capital One Venture X

After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to look up the details. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!

Ready to jet-set with your goals?

Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the ones I have experience with:

Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward

If you own a Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the balance 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.

 

United

Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of point short United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.

JetBlue

Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.

Hit that Minimum Spend

If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.

Pay your rent (if you can)

This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.

Pay a medical bill

Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they’ll reimburse you.

Repay the loan

If you’re a borrower, consider repaying them using the credit card you have. Be sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.

Ask family members for assistance

Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing it.

Buy gifts

If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using your credit card. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were contemplating to.

There are a lot of ways to get the most of your travel credit card. accrue points or miles to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards

Pay for travel expenses using your credit card

Whenever you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those expenditures.

Use your credit card for everyday expenses

Another way to meet the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card to pay daily costs. This could include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t pay interest.

Take advantage of bonus categories

Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.

Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance

If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.

Use your points or miles prudently

When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a flight directly with the airline could give you a better return than using them for an gift card.

Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give an access wider range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that may not be offered through the rewards program on your credit card.

Additionally, try to determine if your credit card offers some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.

When you travel with a friend, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.

The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.