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Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? 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 miles which you can use to score discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.

The Basics of Travel Hacking

Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or 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 to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to look into those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best price. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.

Start with Travel Hacking

Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with a variety of advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most important to you.

Top Credit Card Picks

Here are a few credit cards perfect to hack travel

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

After you’ve been accepted for a credit card, you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to look up this information. From there it’s all about building up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!

Are you ready to set sail with your points?

Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to use them towards delicious getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the ones I have experience with:

Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards

If you have a Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to virtually every airline, and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your travel. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.

 

United

Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points for the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points away, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.

JetBlue

Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.

Reach that Minimum Spend

If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and are here to share our tips and tricks.

Pay your rent (if you can)

This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.

Pay a medical bill

Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future Ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they’ll pay you back.

Repay the loan

If you’re a borrower, consider making payments on them with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate additional debt.

Ask family members for assistance

Ask your family members to look into any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they understand why you’re doing it.

Give presents

If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already contemplating to.

There are many ways to get the most of the travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards

Pay for travel expenses using your credit card

Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum spend for your credit card bonus, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those costs.

Use your credit card to pay for your everyday costs

Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points using your credit card for everyday expenditures. This can include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.

Take advantage of bonus categories

Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.

Take into consideration a balance transfer

If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.

Use your points or miles prudently

If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could provide you with a greater return than using them for an gift card.

Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give the benefit of a greater range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that aren’t offered through your credit card’s rewards program.

In addition, you should discover whether your credit card has any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.

When you travel with someone else, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.

Overall, 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 efficient way 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 benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.