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Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles that can then be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little creativity and some insider knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.

The Basics of Travel Hacking

Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.

How Does it Work?

The secret to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to look into your frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best price. It all comes down to the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.

Start with Travel Hacking

Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer various advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.

Top Credit Card Picks

Here are some credit cards perfect for travel hacking:

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

After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. Then you can begin to rack miles and using them to book your dream vacation!

Ready to jet-set with your points?

After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:

Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards

If you have an Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the total cost, you are able to 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 full price for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on one flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.

JetBlue

Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be 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 buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.

Pay your rent (if you can)

This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the long run when the bonus is large enough.

Make a payment on a medical expense

Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they’ll repay you.

Make a payment to pay off the loan

If you’re a borrower you owe, think about paying them off with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accrue additional debt.

Ask family members for assistance

Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re taking the initiative.

Buy presents

If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already thinking of.

There are plenty of ways to make the most from the travel credit card. accrue points or miles to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:

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 other travel costs. In addition, you’ll achieve the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenditures.

Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday costs

Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is using your credit card for everyday expenditures. This can include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.

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Take advantage of bonus categories

Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.

Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance

If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.

Use your points or miles carefully

If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using points to book a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them for an gift card.

Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This can give the benefit of a larger range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.

Also, discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide 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 a companion and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to track the rewards you earn separately.

In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most efficient method. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.