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Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles that can then be used to score discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some 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 exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.

How Does it Work?

The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to look into the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the best price. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.

Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking

Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards with many benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.

Top Credit Card Picks

Here are some credit cards excellent to use for hacking 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 reach the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. Then it’s all about building up miles, and using them to plan your dream trip!

Ready to jet-set with your points?

Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice travel! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from some of the providers I have experience with:

Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards

If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to virtually every airline, and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.

 

United

Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using dollars or points? But, be careful that if you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for flights. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.

JetBlue

Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s that allows passengers to book flights using 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 relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.

Hit that Minimum Spend

If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.

Pay your rent (if you can)

This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.

Make a payment on a medical expense

Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they can reimburse you.

Repay the loan

If you have any loans you owe, think about paying them off with an credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue additional debt.

Ask family members for assistance

Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing it.

Buy presents

If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you planning to.

There are a lot of ways to make the most of using your credit or debit card for travel and accrue points or miles to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:

Book travel expenses with your credit card

When you’re planning your next trip, make use of you travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum spend to earn your credit card bonus, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenditures.

Use your credit card for everyday expenses

Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is using your credit card for every day expenditures. This can include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.

Make the most of bonus categories

Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.

Take into consideration a balance transfer

If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.

Use your points or miles prudently

Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them to purchase a gift card.

Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or hotel rewards program. This can give the benefit of a larger variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.

Additionally, try to discover whether your credit card has any perks that can save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.

When you travel with a companion, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.

The key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re using this program in the most effective way possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve listed that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.