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Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which you can use to score discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.

The Basics of Travel Hacking

Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.

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 a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes 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 for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to look into your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.

Start with Travel Hacking

Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide various features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.

Top Credit Card Picks

Here are some credit card options that can be great 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 qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to look up the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!

Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?

Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some nice getaway! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from a few of the companies I have experience with:

Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward

If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your travel. You can even book completely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.

 

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 using dollars or points? Be careful in case you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points away, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.

JetBlue

Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.

Reach that Minimum Spend

If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.

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Pay your rent (if you can)

This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It might be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.

Make a payment on a medical expense

Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they will pay you back.

Pay off the loan

If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about making payments on them 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 more debt.

Ask family for help

Talk to your family and look into any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they understand why you’re doing it.

Purchase presents

If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with your credit card. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you planning to.

There are a lot of ways to make the most from the travel credit card and accrue points or miles to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards

Pay for travel expenses using your credit card

Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for these expenditures.

Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs

Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement and earn points is utilising your credit cards for everyday costs. This could include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate 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 eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.

Consider the possibility of transferring your balance

If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.

Make use of your miles or points prudently

When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use points to book a ticket directly with the airline might provide you with a greater return than using them for a gift card.

Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This can give you access to a larger variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not offered through your credit card’s rewards program.

In addition, you should determine if your credit card offers certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.

When you travel with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.

The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using it in the most effective way possible. Through an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.