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Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which can be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.

The Basics of Travel Hacking

Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.

How Does it Work?

The most effective method for success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to look into those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.

Start with Travel Hacking

Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide many benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most essential to you.

Top Credit Card Picks

Here are a few credit card options that can be excellent to hack travel

  • 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 need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to check for this information. Then it’s all about building up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!

Ready to jet-set with your ideas?

Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to use them towards delicious getaway! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the ones I have experience with:

Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards

If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.

 

United

Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful that if you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for flights. No worries though, if you’re a few points away, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.

JetBlue

Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.

Reach that Minimum Spend

If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and are here to share our tips and tricks.

Pay your rent (if you can)

This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end if the bonus is high enough.

Pay for a medical bill

Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they’ll repay you.

Make a payment to pay off a loan

If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about making payments on them with an credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.

Ask family for help

Ask your family members to look into any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing this.

Purchase gifts

If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already contemplating to.

There are plenty of methods to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel and accrue points or miles to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards

Make travel reservations using your credit card

When you’re planning your next trip, make use of you travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card bonus, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenditures.

Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures

Another way to meet the minimum spend in order to accumulate points using your credit card to pay for daily expenditures. This could include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.

Make the most of bonus categories

Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.

Consider the possibility of transferring your balance

If you are currently in debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.

Utilize your miles and points prudently

When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to 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 through the airline may offer better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.

Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. This will give you access to a greater range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not offered through the rewards program on your credit card.

Additionally, try to find out whether your credit card has any perks that can help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.

When you travel with someone else and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.

In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using it in the most efficient method possible. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.